Backup Solution, Evolved

At the end of November, I invested in a NAS box with 500GB of RAID 1 space. This weekend I finally got around to another thing on my todo list: updating the firmware of said box and doing some spelunking. Using a marvellous thing called fun-plug, I now have some real Linux power on the DNS-323.

It was easy to install, and by default get telnet access to the box. Once in, I set up a non-root user and enabled the Dropbear ssh daemon. Since I already had a public RSA key generated on my client box (for ssh access to Dreamhost), all I had to do was copy it to the box as ~/.ssh/authorized_keys – and this gave me ssh access without asking for a password every time.

The next thing to do was get rsync working. Fun-plug includes rsync, a script to start it in daemon mode, and a sample rsyncd.conf file. After a bit of reading manpages and online tutorials, I was set, and rsync is currently doing its thing vis-à-vis my home directory. I’ve written some rsync scripts to back up various parts of my system, and I’ll put it all on cron jobs of course. It’s much better than my previous stopgap solution of manual copying. When you have huge directories of stuff that change/grow frequently (e.g. my “pictures” directory) manual copying is really a poor substitute for diffing and updating only what’s needed.

Also, following up from November’s post, I have a 500GB drive in a eSATA/USB enclosure currently sitting safely in my desk drawer at work.

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