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Old 04-03-2015, 02:02 AM   #31
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
Something with a 300 file limit is a bit pointless.

You should install linux applications by installing them from your distro's repositories.
This allows automatic updates if a new version comes out + other benefits.

You can download from Googled sites - but you have no assurance that it doesn't contain malware...

However, here is a link to a backup procedure where the plan is to
1. Run backup2l to write to a backup directory.
2. Use rsync to transfer that backup directory to a remote machine.
Everything could be easily automated.

Although the example given looks like it requires a lot of configuration, this is not actually true as the bulk of the source is provided.
You just choose a few lines to alter and leave the rest.
Any line that starts with a # is treated as a comment.

https://www.bytemark.co.uk/support/d...backupexample/
Jeremy, thanks for your confidence in me! I just need to learn more about backup (I went to the website), and it still seems complicated to me. I'm just going to keep compiling information. With more understanding I'll be able to make a more informed choice. Reallly appreciate your help.
 
Old 04-03-2015, 02:12 AM   #32
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Sorry for bringing up yet another alternative, but if the syncing between two computers part is important to you, consider using unison. It has a reasonably straightforward graphical frontend and it does just that - keeping two computers in sync.
It is smart enough to figure out which change is more recent, so you can basically make changes on either machines, and unison will typically do the right thing.
In case of conflicts it will ask you, or skip the conflicting file, depending on the mode in which you run it.
If you keep all your data on both computers they would serve as backups for each other - no need to put anything in the cloud only for backup purposes...
I looked at Unison https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/It looks great,but it too looks complicated. All the tools it incorporates.

I'm a writer. The important thing to me is my .epub files. They've got to be exact. To me the easiest way of doing that is putting them on a flash drive.

I like the idea of Unison not needing a cloud, but thinking about the info being backed up because it was on two computers, well, that's the same situation with Copy.com. The info (at least Home folder info) sits in one folder and that one folder is on both computers. And it's in the cloud.

I appreciate the suggestion. So much stuff to choose from. I know if I had more technical skills I'm sure I could utilize a lot of the suggestions. But I don't. lol Thanks
 
Old 04-03-2015, 08:47 AM   #33
JeremyBoden
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Whatever method you choose, you should test that the recovery part works for you.

Imagine your computer has exploded - are you able to use a second machine to access your vital data in a reasonable time?
 
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:50 AM   #34
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
Whatever method you choose, you should test that the recovery part works for you.

Imagine your computer has exploded - are you able to use a second machine to access your vital data in a reasonable time?
Yep. Will do, Jeremy. Thanks!
 
Old 04-04-2015, 05:45 AM   #35
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
I looked at Unison https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/It looks great,but it too looks complicated. All the tools it incorporates.
Don't be too intimitated by the options available. Installion in Ubuntu can be done through the software center.
And as I said the graphical front end is reasonably straight forward.
If you have your data backed up you can afford to run a test with a small folder containing a couple of test files. You'll find that it's not too complicated.
 
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Old 04-07-2015, 02:19 AM   #36
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Don't be too intimitated by the options available. Installion in Ubuntu can be done through the software center.
And as I said the graphical front end is reasonably straight forward.
If you have your data backed up you can afford to run a test with a small folder containing a couple of test files. You'll find that it's not too complicated.
Thanks Joe. I've already got Copy.com and now Dropbox. Maybe that's enough?

I did look at Unison more closely, though. (I found it, like you said, in the Ubuntu Software center but there were 3 different versions (see screenshot). Which one would I choose (running Xubuntu)?)

A part of me would like it to just stay out of the clouds and commercial stuff. It did seem more simple when I looked at it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Think I ought to give it a try or just stay in the clouds? (The files, not mentally.)
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:13 AM   #37
JeremyBoden
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So you trust your data to the cloud?
 
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:15 AM   #38
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Thanks Joe. I've already got Copy.com and now Dropbox. Maybe that's enough?

I did look at Unison more closely, though. (I found it, like you said, in the Ubuntu Software center but there were 3 different versions (see screenshot). Which one would I choose (running Xubuntu)?)

A part of me would like it to just stay out of the clouds and commercial stuff. It did seem more simple when I looked at it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Think I ought to give it a try or just stay in the clouds? (The files, not mentally.)
Install the first two. I have no Ubuntu Box available right now, but I would guess that unison is the actual synchronization tool and unison-gtk is the graphical front-end to it.
The last package in your screenshot is an older version. Unison is picky about versions. When synchronizing two machines it requires both to run the same version. Therefore you will find older versions available in most distros' repositories to be able to talk to other machines running older versions.

If you use the same OS on both machines to be synced this should present no problem to you as long as you go with the "default" version, which would be the package that does not have a version number in its name.

I most definitely think you should give it a try to be able to make an informed decsision whether or not you can handle it. If you can, you can balance ease-of-use versus privacy concerns based on facts rather than assumptions...
 
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Old 04-08-2015, 01:43 AM   #39
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
So you trust your data to the cloud?
Not just to the cloud. I've got it on two computer hard drives and a flash drive. (The important stuff anyway.)
 
Old 04-08-2015, 01:51 AM   #40
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Install the first two. I have no Ubuntu Box available right now, but I would guess that unison is the actual synchronization tool and unison-gtk is the graphical front-end to it.
The last package in your screenshot is an older version. Unison is picky about versions. When synchronizing two machines it requires both to run the same version. Therefore you will find older versions available in most distros' repositories to be able to talk to other machines running older versions.

If you use the same OS on both machines to be synced this should present no problem to you as long as you go with the "default" version, which would be the package that does not have a version number in its name.

I most definitely think you should give it a try to be able to make an informed decsision whether or not you can handle it. If you can, you can balance ease-of-use versus privacy concerns based on facts rather than assumptions...
Thanks Joe. Maybe it shouldn't but trying it makes me nervous. Like I might lose data somehow. Both computers have Xubuntu and I'm pretty sure they're both 14.10. So, if I try it, can I just test-sync a couple of files at first?

What I'm afraid of is getting in too deep with this and not having the computer knowledge to get out of it. That and losing data.

And I've already got Dropbox and Copy. Is having Unison along with those going to cause problems? Or maybe if I have Unison I won't need Dropbox and Copy?

And somebody told me with Unison one of the computers has to be on all the time? True?

What do you think of Crash Plan as a backup?

Last edited by Gregg Bell; 04-08-2015 at 02:03 AM.
 
Old 04-08-2015, 06:17 AM   #41
joe_2000
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Your concerns are valid. Here are my thoughts:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Thanks Joe. Maybe it shouldn't but trying it makes me nervous. Like I might lose data somehow. Both computers have Xubuntu and I'm pretty sure they're both 14.10. So, if I try it, can I just test-sync a couple of files at first?
You can specify two "root" folders for the syncing, one of which is on the remote machine. The syntax for the remote folder is something like
Code:
ssh://remotehost:port//path/to/remote/root/folder/
In a first step, you can also sync two folders on one of the machines, to avoid having to deal with the remote host syntax in your first trials. I'd recommend to create test folders specially for such a test. Create some text files in two folders. Sync them. Modify files in both folders. Sync again. See what happens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
What I'm afraid of is getting in too deep with this and not having the computer knowledge to get out of it. That and losing data.
The concern about the data is valid. Make sure to have a backup copy on an external drive as previously discussed. If something goes wrong the only required computer knowledge for recovery will be copying the data back to your computers.

Maybe I should mention one caveat: Try not to simply sync your whole home directory. The home directory contains a bunch of files and folders that contain configuration for installed software. Syncing that from one computer to the other might cause trouble.

Ideally you'd have a subdirectory of your home folder called e.g. data, that contains ... well... your data, and only sync that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
And I've already got Dropbox and Copy. Is having Unison along with those going to cause problems? Or maybe if I have Unison I won't need Dropbox and Copy?
It actually might cause problems if you use dropbox and copy on both computers for the data to be synced. I can't imagine several syncing tools working on the same data behaving themselves, but I never tried that. But it also seems pointless to combine them all.
The whole point of using unison is not having to use cloud services for the syncing task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post

And somebody told me with Unison one of the computers has to be on all the time? True?
No. You can manually trigger the syncing events. It's like you tell unison "sync my data now". Obviously, when you do that, both machines need to be running and have unison installed. If you want to do the network communication through ssh as per my example above you also need an ssh server to be installed. I think the Ubuntu package name is openssh-server. Again this is in the repos, so software center installation is the way to go.
But there are other ways. We can talk about that after you played with the tool a bit.

Why would someone want the computers to run all the time? The suggestion is valid: If you wanted to automate the syncing (say, have it run every hour), it would make sense to use one machine as the server side, which always runs. You could then have a sort of "star" layout, where your desktop, your laptop, and maybe yet another device would all be syncing with the server, so as to make sure all devices have the same data on them. Actually, that is what I do, and it works extremely well for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post

What do you think of Crash Plan as a backup?
See above. (External hard drive backup)
 
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:15 PM   #42
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_2000 View Post
Your concerns are valid. Here are my thoughts:

You can specify two "root" folders for the syncing, one of which is on the remote machine. The syntax for the remote folder is something like
Code:
ssh://remotehost:port//path/to/remote/root/folder/
In a first step, you can also sync two folders on one of the machines, to avoid having to deal with the remote host syntax in your first trials. I'd recommend to create test folders specially for such a test. Create some text files in two folders. Sync them. Modify files in both folders. Sync again. See what happens


The concern about the data is valid. Make sure to have a backup copy on an external drive as previously discussed. If something goes wrong the only required computer knowledge for recovery will be copying the data back to your computers.

Maybe I should mention one caveat: Try not to simply sync your whole home directory. The home directory contains a bunch of files and folders that contain configuration for installed software. Syncing that from one computer to the other might cause trouble.

Ideally you'd have a subdirectory of your home folder called e.g. data, that contains ... well... your data, and only sync that.

It actually might cause problems if you use dropbox and copy on both computers for the data to be synced. I can't imagine several syncing tools working on the same data behaving themselves, but I never tried that. But it also seems pointless to combine them all.
The whole point of using unison is not having to use cloud services for the syncing task.

No. You can manually trigger the syncing events. It's like you tell unison "sync my data now". Obviously, when you do that, both machines need to be running and have unison installed. If you want to do the network communication through ssh as per my example above you also need an ssh server to be installed. I think the Ubuntu package name is openssh-server. Again this is in the repos, so software center installation is the way to go.
But there are other ways. We can talk about that after you played with the tool a bit.

Why would someone want the computers to run all the time? The suggestion is valid: If you wanted to automate the syncing (say, have it run every hour), it would make sense to use one machine as the server side, which always runs. You could then have a sort of "star" layout, where your desktop, your laptop, and maybe yet another device would all be syncing with the server, so as to make sure all devices have the same data on them. Actually, that is what I do, and it works extremely well for me.

See above. (External hard drive backup)
Joe, thanks so much for laying out this careful explanation. I have to tell you though it still seems daunting.

Thanks for pointing out the confusion of syncing both Copy and Dropbox simultaneously. I think I'm just going to go with Copy. (I've got Copy on both machines. Dropbox on only one.)

I really am a newbie and just a writer. I love everything I've learned about Linux but it's just consuming more and more of my time.

Like now, I am using a new computer (with Xubuntu on it) and I'm having difficulty installing the version of LibreOffice I want. (I'm starting a new thread.)

So Unison is going to have to go on the back burner for now. I can always re-visit it when I get things settled down.

And one thing you wrote concerned me:

Try not to simply sync your whole home directory. The home directory contains a bunch of files and folders that contain configuration for installed software. Syncing that from one computer to the other might cause trouble.

Ideally you'd have a subdirectory of your home folder called e.g. data, that contains ... well... your data, and only sync that.


I've got pretty much everything from my Home folder in the Copy folder. (It just seemed to be the best way to avoid confusion.) I took a screenshot. If I need to, which folders do you think I should be removing from the Copy folder?

Thanks.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:27 PM   #43
JeremyBoden
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If you must sync everything, it would be a good idea to not sync
any directory or file that begins with a dot (these exist, but are actually hidden files).

There's also no point in synchronising cache files.

The hidden files generally contain user-specific configuration info.
 
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Old 04-09-2015, 01:51 AM   #44
Gregg Bell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyBoden View Post
If you must sync everything, it would be a good idea to not sync
any directory or file that begins with a dot (these exist, but are actually hidden files).

There's also no point in synchronising cache files.

The hidden files generally contain user-specific configuration info.
Thanks Jeremy. Yeah, the syncing would only be for documents and photos, stuff like that.
 
Old 04-09-2015, 06:02 AM   #45
joe_2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
Joe, thanks so much for laying out this careful explanation. I have to tell you though it still seems daunting.

Thanks for pointing out the confusion of syncing both Copy and Dropbox simultaneously. I think I'm just going to go with Copy. (I've got Copy on both machines. Dropbox on only one.)

I really am a newbie and just a writer. I love everything I've learned about Linux but it's just consuming more and more of my time.

Like now, I am using a new computer (with Xubuntu on it) and I'm having difficulty installing the version of LibreOffice I want. (I'm starting a new thread.)

So Unison is going to have to go on the back burner for now. I can always re-visit it when I get things settled down.

And one thing you wrote concerned me:

Try not to simply sync your whole home directory. The home directory contains a bunch of files and folders that contain configuration for installed software. Syncing that from one computer to the other might cause trouble.

Ideally you'd have a subdirectory of your home folder called e.g. data, that contains ... well... your data, and only sync that.


I've got pretty much everything from my Home folder in the Copy folder. (It just seemed to be the best way to avoid confusion.) I took a screenshot. If I need to, which folders do you think I should be removing from the Copy folder?

Thanks.
No worries. My hat is off to you for even trying.

It looks as though you are already following my advice by using the dedicated "copy" folder. It obviously does not matter whether you call it "data" or "copy". To be 100% sure check if you are also viewing hidden files (i.e. files starting with a . ).
In the filebrowsers I have been using (including Thunar, which I believe is what you are using) the display of hidden files can be toggled on/off by pressing ctrl-H.

Or, in the terminal, type
Code:
ls -a /home/gregg/Copy
If it shows any files and/or folders that you do not see on your screenshot, these are hidden files.
 
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