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Old 09-18-2018, 03:08 PM   #1
coderlen
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casper-rw file is taking up all the space on my USB backup


I have been using rsync successfully for months, backing up my files without fail. However, just today I ran out of space on my 32 GB USB drive, and I can no longer backup files.

I have done some research on casper-rw, and I know that it is persistent, meaning that it stores not only the OS, but data files as well. And I can get to those files when I boot from the USB stick.

However, I have never booted from this USB stick. I have booted from a "Live USB", so I am familiar with the concept.

But this casper-rw file is getting in my way. Today my USB drive did get some of the files backed up, until it ran out of space.

So I am trying to understand casper-rw better, and I turn to you experts for advice.

- Should I delete the casper-rw from my files that are backed up on the USB drive, to make more room?
- Should I utilize the casper-rw to boot from the USB stick?
- Are all my files backed up within the casper-rw file?

I need to get a better handle on this file, so please help me understand its importance, the pros and cons of using it, and whether or not I should delete it. Thanks.
 
Old 09-18-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
michaelk
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You must have booted from a live disc or other live USB drive that created the casper-rw file. Do you now boot with a live version?

A casper-rw file is a way to save files/changes to a live system that is seamless to the operating system. When was the last time the file was modified?

Not enough information to say at the moment but a normal distribution should not use a casper-rw file and you should be able to see the files that are copied to flash drive by the rsync command.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 01:15 PM   #3
coderlen
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michaelk, thanks for your answer. It prompted me to do an in-depth investigation of my system and the USB backup. It turns out that I had done some redundant things a few months back, like booting from a Live USB Linux stick, which created the now old casper-rw file. I also created a subdirectory under my main directory on the flash drive, and that is where there are a lot of redundant, but outdated, backup files ended up.

So, thanks to you, I now understand that a casper-rw file is created when you boot a live USB linux, so that the USB stick can be used on just about any machine you boot into. But I don't need it for just doing backups.

I am now in the process of using the 'diff' and 'find' commands to compare the directory with that extra subdirectory, to make sure I don't delete any files out of the subdirectory that I might need. Then, I will delete the subdirectory, which will free up a lot of space on my USB for backups.

Thanks for your assistance.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 02:33 PM   #4
jefro
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Thanks for the update and solution.
 
Old 09-19-2018, 04:44 PM   #5
yancek
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Quote:
So, thanks to you, I now understand that a casper-rw file is created when you boot a live USB linux
No, it isn't. You've misread or misunderstood the earlier post. A casper-rw file or partition is specific to Ubuntu and its numerous derivatives. It is used when someone wants a 'Live" install with persistence, persistence meaning you can create and save files on reboot. In order to do this, you need to use software that is specifically designed to create 'persistence' on the usb or harddrive for that matter. The link below is the official Ubuntu documentation on the subject.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCD/Persistence
 
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