Mar 312012

I just discovered that today it’s the world backup day, and with the slogan on the webpage: “DON’T BE AN APRIL FOOL. BACKUP YOUR FILES. CHECK YOUR RESTORES.” they remember that is always a good habit to have 1 (or more) backup of our important data.

But in the days of social network, cloud computing and emails always left on remote servers, where are all our information and how we can save them securely ?

Step 1 – Our data on our Linux System

The first step must be the backup of our documents, images, music and everything that is important from our Linux PC, to achieve this there are different strategy: save them online or on external harddrive or burn the data on CD/DVD.

Let’s see some example on how to do these things:

Saving your information Online

Today there are multiple sites that offer free space to save your information, on a former article i’ve talked about Dropbox, this is a possible solution, other sites that offer free (and at payment) space include Ubuntu One and Spideroak the latter has been suggested by many readers of the blog for his features of security, i still have to test it; while i’ve started to use Ubuntu One to save all my documents, with 5 GB available and the ability to have the documents on all Linux systems (and if you really want Windows too) is an excellent way to have all my documents safe and available at all times from multiple PC.

For my photos i use a different solution, I’ve 2 extra copy of them 1 online on Picasa and another copy on my external hard drive, at the moment i use Gthumb to upload/download photo is really handy and is compatible with many sites (Flickr, Facebook, Picasa) so i can easily select an entire directory and upload it, another good software for Linux that can do this is Shotwell.

Saving your information on an external hard disk

A simple copy of your files is a good start, but is not enough, over time you’ll forget to copy the new files and/or update the modified files, so to do this automatically i suggest to use some backup program, I’ve tested Deja Dup this is a really simple program but with the backup option you can decide where to save your files, among the possible options there are Amazon’s S3 cloud services, and Rackspace, a Windows share, FTP, SSH, WebDAV, in addition to the more traditional internal and external hard drives and it’s also possible to choose which folders you want to include and which to exclude from the backup.
And as interesting feature you can also encrypt all the backups, i use this program having as destination my external hard disk, is a simple and efficient solution.

An alternative is Unison this is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows two replicas of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other. So this can be handy if you use 2 computer and want to sync some directories among them.

Step 2 – Our Emails

Probably like me you have all your mail on a remote server and you have access to it via IMAP, all very nice and functional, but what happens if your mail provider has a problem and lose some or all of your emails ?

Ugly eh, luckily there are methods to backup emails too, I have listed some for Gmail in a article and if you take a look at the comments you will see that many others are also listed.

Step 3 – Your photos on Facebook

It’s a bad idea to have photos only on Facebook, so i suggest to make a copy of them on your hard disk (or on another online site), unluckily for facebook policy and API there aren’t many programs that can download a complete album from a profile, i use fluschipranie an add on for Firefox.

To download an album with Fluschipranie simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to your albums section or whenever you have an album link(or in the case of the tagged photos the “Photos” link).
  2. You just make right-mouse click over your albums links, a menu should appear with fluschipranies download option, click it.
  3. A text-field popup should appear, specify in it the prefix of your photos.If you leave this field empty or you check facebook default below, in such case the default facebook’s prefix will be used.
  4. A file picker should appear after step 3, choose the directory where you want the album to be downloaded.
  5. Go to the folder you picked in step4 to see your photos.


These are some general guidelines and suggestion on how to make extra copies of your data, but if you don’t like least do a complete rsync of your home directory, perhaps some day you’ll thank me for this tip.

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  3 Responses to “World Backup Day – Let’s see some strategy for Linux”

  1. Hotmail accounts get 25 GB for free.

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