Doing backups with rsync

I just installed and began using rsync to do backup over the network.

rsync is a program that compare backup with original folder and find differences. It then compress the differences before sending them over a secure channel (ususally ssh) on a network (internet or lan).

I use a linux computer as server and a windows computer as client. Flies will be copied from the windows box to the linux one.

In linux, rsync is already inluded. All you have to do is to create the file /etc/rsyncd.conf

Here’s the simple file I use as test:

uid = pat
gid = pat

path = /home/backup/
comment = Backup folder
read only = false

It is important to note that the uid and gid must have the permission to write to the /home/backup folder. The read only=false is also important. Otherwise, the folder is read only and files cannot be added via rsync.

That’s for the linux part. The windows part is also quite easy, once you have the proper software: DeltaCopy. With this software, you can schedule and manage which folder you want to backup.

Overall, rsync is great because all is done automatically. No more friday backup skipped because of a unscheduled event happening. The other advantage is that the backup can be done to a remote server, improving the « quality » of the backup. A fire or a theft won’t threat the data anymore.

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