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As a complete newbie I was wondering what I should back up and how? I know I could zip (into a TAR ball?) my home directory and all sub-directories that way as it can keep the folder names and I presume you could run it incrementally like pkzip in Windows/DOS.
But what else should I be backing up? I'm still finding the myriad of folders and what the contain very confusing! (so a pointer to any docs would be great too!)
..and I presume there are also a load of Backup scripts and apps I could use to make life even easier!
If you are using a stock install (no custom kernels and such). You could get by with backing up /home and /etc. Most config files are in your /etc directory. If you compiled any software from source you might want to back up the directory of those too. If this is a server (like DNS) you will want to backup /var, since the DNS config files are there.
I asked this question a before and did quite a bit of searching on the net and never came up with a solid answer. I would say back up all the config files and you can be back up in running in minutes after a clean install.
One of the key questions is what you use the computer to do. Is it a server, is it always on, etc. For my server at home, it's always on and runs a variety of services such as apache and samba. I run a weekly script that backs up /root, /etc, /home, some of /var and the shared samba stuff. This then copies to a DVD. I then run a daily incremental that stays on disk. All of this also gets rsynch'ed to a separate hard disk in case of disk failure.
I'm using it at as a home desktop, so not always on and nothing is **REALLY** critical. Just nice to get back to where you were in minutes instead of days!
billymayday if you have an example of either of your scripts I could hack for my own use or a pointer to some examples would be great. BTW if I put the script in the /cron/weekly-daily folder or whatever does that automatically carry out the script - I suppose the script needs to contain a start time etc