9) Seamless Archive/Backup (Especially for Ubuntu Users)

Are you one of the 20 million people who use Ubuntu Linux every day? If so, you might truly enjoy this solution for backup and/or file archiving…


The same Brigada reader wrote, “You can do the same thing with Dropbox. Just get a good software package to manage the backup. I wrote my own (that uploads to the Ubuntu cloud), but there are plenty of available alternatives. My software package does this:

1) Compress home directory (from ~60 gigs to 3 gigs)
2) Encrypt compressed files
3) Compare encrypted, compressed files with those in the cloud directory
4) Update any that don’t match

The whole process takes ~2 minutes each night, then I’m always backed up and I never have to think about it. I actually set it to back up to the Ubuntu cloud and Dropbox, that way I always have two copies. The encryption is virtually unbreakable without my key.” Cool. You can probably do that in your spare time too, right? (Thanks for the tip, Chris!)

5 Responses to 9) Seamless Archive/Backup (Especially for Ubuntu Users)
  1. Andrew Steele Reply

    So Chris, tell us how you wrote your backup process…

    • Editor Reply

      He’s a very busy guy. No promises. But I’ll ask. :-)

    • Chris Reply

      Hey Andrew,

      I went a fairly circuitous route, more out of pleasure and curiosity than necessity. But the essentials are as follows.

      First, I used a dictionary based compression algorithm to compress the files I’m backing up, then I used propagating cipher-block chaining to encrypt the files. Then I write those files to a directory in Dropbox/Ubuntu One. It’s pretty straightforward, I implemented everything in C or Python. Then I wrote a shell script to backup once per day.

      It was pretty straightforward, I mainly pieced things together from old psets and made some simple edits. And it’s wholly unnecessary; a lot of the open source stuff does what I do better than how I do it. But it was fun, and I learned some things.

  2. Editor Reply

    Chris, thanks for taking time to explain.
    Sounds totally straightforward, I’m sure, to anybody that knows dictionary-based algorithms, cipher-blocks, Ubuntu, C, Python, shell scripts, and psets.

    Simple. :-)

    • Chris Reply


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