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szim90 02-10-2007 02:30 PM

Compare files in specific directory to files on CD
Hi. For a while, I have been creating simple backups by copying important folders in my home directory to CDs. However, I now have accumulated about 15 CDs and I am starting to find it difficult to track which specific files have been backed up (although the individual files backed up have not been edited, there have been new files and folders added). Is it possible to insert a CD, write a list of the files on the CD to a file, switch CDs, append the names of those files to the list, and once finished, generate a list of files in my home directory and use some program to show the files that are missing on the backups.

Thank you for any help,

stress_junkie 02-10-2007 06:46 PM

Hopefully you have been using CD-RW disks so that you can start to reuse them.

You may want to start using some kind of backup software. Kdar might be a good application for making your backups. It seems to bridge the gap between the very primitive backup utilities and the enterprise level application suites.

Backup software will generally put all of your files into one compressed archive file so you wouldn't be able to directly read your files from your CDs.

szim90 02-10-2007 08:00 PM

I have been using DVD-R disks (not rewritable) to backup the data. Would you recommend just making new backups?

The reason I backed up individual files instead of using a backup program was because I need the disks to be accessible on my mac and my linux system. I agree, though, that using backup software would probably make this much easier. I heard that tar can make multi-part archives, can make incremental backups, and comes with mac. Would tar be a good choice of backup software? Is it easy to use?

jschiwal 02-10-2007 08:39 PM

You can use md5sums to generate a list of filenames and md5sums.

Backup programs usually use the timestamp to determine if a file is altered. A program like kdar would allow you to make an incremental backup. This will use the kdar catalog and timestamps to determine whether a file is altered and needs to be backed up.

Using md5sums is a method of verifying that a file hasn't been altered. For example, you could produce a file containing the md5sums of system files in /bin and /sbin, and then when offline verify that the files have not been modified.

At work, I backup mpeg2 commercial files. I backup the files after encoding to a DVD. I created a small script that reads the directory of a DVD and creates a tab separated list of files and dates. Then I run a second script that merges all of the catalog files, sorts them by filename and uses enscript and ps2pdf to produce a pdf catalog of all of the spots that have been backed up. Then if someone wants to look at a spot that was backed up, they just need to open the catalog in acroread to find out which disk the file was backed up to.

The encoder runs on windows, so I installed cygwin to be able to run bash scripts to do this sort of thing.

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