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codergeek 12-29-2012 04:38 PM

How often do you do backups?
 
Hi,

I am curious on how often we do backups and what types of backups you do most.

My vote is I do backups sometimes. I never do a system backup, I only backup files I created and I sometimes rsync my home directory.

Ser Olmy 12-29-2012 05:48 PM

The question "how often do you perform a backup?" immediately raises another question, which is "of what?"

As you say, system files and user data are two very different things. I back up system files occasionally and track changes (because a system backup saves time should I ever need to reinstall from scratch), while important user data are backed up regularly.

Ztcoracat 12-29-2012 06:43 PM

Hi! codergeek:

And Welcome to Linux Questions!

I do a entire backups of both of my systems at least once a year.
However; depending on what distribution you are running you may have to back up all of your files/folders every 3 to 6 months. With Fedora I have to.

The other thing to think about is:
- If your operating system crashed today; do you have a backup of all your files? (Or)
- Are you going to have to start all over again and go obtain all that you had or needed from the internet?
- What if you have a power outage?

Most folks backup to an external hard drive or a usb pendrive/flash drive.

Backups are highly recommended! Indeed ;)

codergeek 12-29-2012 07:40 PM

I should have been more specific, but the backups I am referring to is computer/data related.

I am sorry that it a dumb poll question. Anyway, I appreciate the votes and replies thus far. I will do better planning when doing a poll in the near future.

Thanks again to all...

frankbell 12-29-2012 09:40 PM

My systems are for personal use.

I do backups when I have an important data change. For example, if I write an important document or record or edit a podcast, I run my rsync script to backup my data, as opposed to backing up the individual files. Consequently, I may backup several times a week or not for a month.

If I make significant changes to a configuration file in /etc, such as smb.conf or rc.firewall, I back up that file. I do not bother to back up configuration files left at default.

I don't bother to back up the entire OS because, if it crashes, it's easier to reinstall and recreate my configuration than to try to restore the entire system.

Wim Sturkenboom 12-30-2012 09:28 AM

On my home systems it is sometimes (my vote); average probably once a month, but I do forget at occasion. I only backup data (email, documents, photos etc). OS and configurations can be re-installed if necessary.

H_TeXMeX_H 12-30-2012 10:38 AM

I recommend including actual time frames in your next poll.

I backup most of my data every time I install a new version of Slackware (about every year). These backups are done to a DVD with error correction embedded:
http://dvdisaster.net/en/index.html

The DVD is stored in an opaque case away from light and water.

Some files are backed up more often to other places like e-mail or HDDs.

Any backups done with important data to a HDD are done to two duplicate HDDs. If the data is sensitive, the partition is encrypted and completely hidden (plausible deniability). Each partition has a different password.

A SMART long test is run on all HDDs (except for external HDDs where it takes forever to finish, where it is substituted by a short and conveyance test) every 1000 power on hours or so. SMART attributes are also monitored on all HDDs and when they get too low, the HDD is scrapped.

DVDs are scanned with dvdisaster every few months for errors and recovered if any appear.

Backups are NEVER done to flash media (USB sticks or SD cards) as these leak change over time and will lose data with no ability to recover it. They also recommend re-formatting flash media often for the same reason ... the partition data also degrades over time and you'll start to get strange errors when copying data in and out.

DavidMcCann 12-30-2012 10:43 AM

I've just had to restore this computer after a distro under test wiped my hard drive. All my data had been backed up that day. As for configuration, I keep a document which lists everything I've done after the basic installation, so it's easy to work through the list. The only thing I was missing was Opera's saved passwords: I must look into that one...

DavidMcCann 12-30-2012 10:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H (Post 4859548)
Backups are NEVER done to flash media (USB sticks or SD cards) as these leak change over time and will lose data with no ability to recover it. They also recommend re-formatting flash media often for the same reason ... the partition data also degrades over time and you'll start to get strange errors when copying data in and out.

Do you have some evidence here? I've just searched, and I can't find anything. If the medium were that unsound, they wouldn't be able to sell computers with flash instead of hard drives. And if you backup regularly, the data won't have time to leak. The chief problem is the risk of the connectors breaking with the strain of repeated insertions and removals.

A British TV show (The Gadget Show) froze a USB stick, baked it, and ran over it. Then they sent it to a data-recovery company, which got all the data back!

odiseo77 12-30-2012 11:23 AM

I back up my data to an external HDD occasionally, like 4 or 5 times a year. I know I should do it more often, but I'm a bit lazy for that. As for my system partition, I never back it up; I just reinstall if there is some serious problem (which is rare).

H_TeXMeX_H 12-30-2012 12:53 PM

One of my USB sticks was also washed in the washing machine, and it still works fine.

Yes, USB sticks are durable, but I don't trust them to store data or be easy to recover. There are recovery services available, and if you believe The Gadget Show, then they should be able to recover it ... did they even mention the price for the recovery or how much data was on there ?

I suppose if they last through fire, it would be a good idea to keep a copy of your data on there, but I wouldn't make it the only copy. I've had many issues with USB sticks and SD cards over the years. They just aren't reliable. I didn't find much expert opinion if that's what you seek, but several articles say that the charge does dissipate over many years (no number is ever given). I was unable to recover any data from any dead flash drives, and at the time there were no recovery services or they were too expensive.

DavidMcCann 12-31-2012 10:47 AM

I had issues with USB sticks at first, but they stopped when I switched to using ext2 on them. Just because Linux can handle Windows filing systems doesn't mean the process will always be reliable.

m.a.l.'s pa 12-31-2012 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H (Post 4859548)
I recommend including actual time frames in your next poll.

Yeah, I was expecting time frames in the poll, too.

I back up my data partitions to an external hard drive about once a week. I don't usually back up the entire system.

kooru 01-01-2013 04:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by frankbell (Post 4859291)
My systems are for personal use.

I do backups when I have an important data change. For example, if I write an important document or record or edit a podcast, I run my rsync script to backup my data, as opposed to backing up the individual files. Consequently, I may backup several times a week or not for a month.

If I make significant changes to a configuration file in /etc, such as smb.conf or rc.firewall, I back up that file. I do not bother to back up configuration files left at default.

I don't bother to back up the entire OS because, if it crashes, it's easier to reinstall and recreate my configuration than to try to restore the entire system.

precisely same thing for me

syg00 01-01-2013 05:28 AM

Hmmm - I always do (at least) 3 copies of backup isos for full system backups. That way I can (probably) rebuild a system even if a copy (or 2) goes dodgy. (read this).

For user data I rsync to a network drive every time I turn the machines on.
For updates, I use snapshot prior to the deed.

Yep, I'm anal about backups. BTDTGTS.


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