Backing up with BackupPC

BackupPC is an awesome tool for backing up a number of different machines. BackupPC has a web application that manages your backups and a separate backup application that runs periodically based on the settings you have in the web admin.

The design is ingenious because it can back up a variety of machines with unique settings. For windows machines I use a protected share that can only be accessed by a user called ‘backup’. The backup application then connects periodically to the share and runs incremental backups. For the linux machines I run an rsync demon on the pc. This is one of the few cases where it’s as easy on windows as linux. (In case there’s any doubt… everything is easier on linux 99% of the time.)

Given that I use linux exclusively, here’s the documentation on setting up an rsyncd connection with Backuppc.

1) Install rsyncd: $ sudo apt-get install rsync (ubuntu)
2) Configure rsyncd with a backup option (/etc/rsyncd.conf)

[backup]
path = /home/jamstooks
exclude = "/home/jamstooks/.mozilla/firefox/***"
comment = Backup
uid = jamstooks
gid = jamstooks
read only = true
auth users = backup
secrets file = /etc/rsyncd.secrets

I excluded the firefox directory, because I was getting issues with the cache being accessed during backup. It would probably be best to include the bookmarks though.
/etc/rsyncd.secrets stores the passwords in plain-text, so make sure you adjust your permissions appropriately:

backup:passwd

3) Ubuntu sets up an init.d setup file, but you want to make sure the daemon is running…
4) Finally, you are ready to set up BackupPC. In the BackupPC admin, simply select rsync for this machine and fill in the password you selected.

More details can be found in the official BackupPC documentation.

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