Recently the importance of making regular backups of important data was brought home to me. My desktop machine has two, old 40GB drives in it and one of them failed. It seems to have died completely – certainly I have not been able to get it to mount using any of the commonly available tools. However, this is not a great problem to me, as I was able to install the operating system to the other drive and dump the latest backup back onto the machine. Meaning it was back up and working with a couple of days.
Now it is the case that I do not use the desktop that much – instead preferring the freedom of a laptop. However, since I did have a recent desktop backup I only lost a couple of recently added files. Not much of a problem, but still not ideal. So I decided that I should put my 320GB external hard drive to better use and make a proper backup of both laptop and desktop.
I decided that an incremental backup would be best and so hit on using rsync. Simple, one command backup to make the first backup and then to update to the latest increment each time.
rsync -r --exclude=[something not wanted in the backup] [full path of source] [full path of destination]
I also found that if you need to exclude multiple directories then you just need to add more
--exclude= statements. Simple, yet effective.