Friday, October 30, 2009

Backup home directory to USB harddisk

As I am keen to install Ubuntu 9.10 on my work laptop, its time to do an extra backup of my home directory. My mp3 player has about 30 Gb free so I'll use that.

First attempt:

cp -R /home/erik /media/H300/Backup/
You wont believe how slow this is! All those little pesky files, we'll need to aggregate them.

Second attempt:

tar -cjf /media/H300/Backup/erik.tar.bz2 /home/erik
Waiting ... waiting ... Oops, that fails! The FAT file system on the mp3 player only supports files up to 2Gb.

After a long but fruitless search in the documentation of tar (and zip) for multi-volume archives options, I suddenly thought of the simplest thing that could work:

tar -cj /home/erik | \ split -d -b 1G - /media/H300/Backup/erik.tar.bz2.part
This creates a bunch of 1Gbyte files ending in part00, part01, etc.

You've got to love unix!