Nick (gagravarr) wrote,

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Backups, CygWin and Duplicity

Earlier this week, I installed yet another disk in our machine that handles the backups, which means we can now do more frequent backups of more of our local files. However, this also meant the previously used method of handling local backups would need changing, as it wasn't designed for daily updates etc.

After a bit of searching (and, more importantly, asking my sysadmin friends...), I decided to give Duplicity a whirl. It's a Python based program with librsync at its heart, and supports a number of transports. Most importantly, it compresses the files, but in a manner that doesn't break their seekability in the way that a .tar.gz suffers. It also does incremental updates without breaking a sweat, so it looked perfect.

I fairly quickly got it set up on our backup linux server, and once I discovered Duplicity didn't support "pulling" backups, on the other Linux box also. Setting it up to do a weekly full backup and daily updates of important files was a breeze (with the help of a short perl script). That only left files from the Windows box, which are available under a samba mount.

At this point, things stopped going smoothly, as Duplicity barfs about half way through either mount, with a file not found somewhere very deep in its guts. This is a bit of a pity, as no-one has seen it before, and looked like a show stopper.

My mailing list post searching did throw up the fact that Duplicity worked quite well under CygWin on Windows boxes, so I thought I'd give that a try. I grabbed the installer, and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it all was. In no time at all, I had a Unix like environment, and ssh working.

Took a little bit more work to get sshd going, as the manuals lacked anything CygWin specific (and something was definately needed). A quick bit of googling pointed me to this, and I was away.

Librsync and Duplicity built and installed without too much trouble (once I'd altered the library search path), and with that my backups were good to roll.

As a bonus, I now also have a sensible Unix environment on the main Windows box at work, so it's a win/win outcome :-) If you do have to deal with Windows machines, and don't have CygWin on them, I'd advise that you go take a look at it now. Makes your life soooo much easier....

Update Someone has asked me how I "altered the library search path", and I currently have no idea. All I know is that I have librsync in /lib/ /usr/lib/ and /usr/local/lib/ .... I'll have to see if the answer comes to me

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