[CS-FSLUG] Rsync and backup

Davo Smith christiansource at davosmith.co.uk
Mon Aug 18 04:18:46 CDT 2008

> Needing help with rsync for a USB stick mirror of my documents:
> I do most of my work on the big home desktop machine. From time to time,
> I go places where I know I'll have some down time and take my laptop to
> keep up with research and writing. Not wishing to crowd the harddrive of
> the laptop with a mirror my $HOME from the desktop, I decided to create
> a backup on a USB stick.
> After reformatting it to ext2 (for simplicity's sake), I found a nifty
> script using rsync to create the mirror on my stick:
>   http://www.linux.com/feature/121604
> It took a little tweaking, but I managed it. However, I am a long way
> from expertise with rsync. After my first attempt to dig into it, I
> found myself lost on some jargon. I'd like to ask the list if anyone can
> simplify things for me.
> On the laptop, I'll mount the stick and work with files directly there.
> Once I have added or modified those files, how would I go about rsyncing
> back to the source on my desktop machine? Consider I do, indeed, have an
> exclude list to avoid pulling in browser cache, a folder of disk ISOs on
> my desktop, and similar stuff useless on my laptop.

It sounds like what you *really* want is Unison, not rsync:

Unison will check through all the files on the memory stick and the
desktop computer and update both of them to whichever was changed
since you last compared them (and will ask you what to do if you have
changed both copies).

You can get Unison for Linux (included in your distro's repository and
probably also the GUI front-end called unison-gtk), Mac and Windows
and the data files work between each of them (you can sync a Windows
PC with a Mac, or a Linux box with any of the above, etc.)


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