[Wolves] backing up methods

John Rose john.aaron.rose at googlemail.com
Fri May 8 11:55:32 UTC 2009


I don't really need to format the usb disk as ext3 because I only want to
use it for 3 reasons: to store films etc on it (which I also have as DVDs),
to keep monthly backup copies of the full file system (excluding /media
etc), and to keep backup copies of /home (full monthly & incremental
occasional). So ext2 is quite sufficient.

The advantage of FAT32 is that it allowed me to set (in gconf-editor) for
system/storage/default_options/vfat, gid=users (after putting all my users
in Group users and adding a line for gdi= in
/usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/20-storage-methods.fdi: this then
allows me to write to a memory stick and FAT32 formatted usb drive for any
user irrespective of which user was logged in when the memory stick was
mounted. Obviously, I could do this using Nautilus.

When I now use partition editor to partition/format the usb drive as ext2,
it sets the owner & group as root. This then prevents me (in Nautilus)
creating directories and copying files to it:. So I have to use the CLI
(which I'd prefer not to use) to do these tasks with 'su root'. This then
results in all dirs & files having owner & group as root unless I remember
to cp -p. If I use SimpleBackup, will it write OK to the usb drive?

Partimage is a real pain to get going due to it not being able to copy a
mounted partition. So I tried to run it after booting from a usb stick
containg Live Ubuntu Jaunty. Partimage wasn't an installed package and
'Live' jaunty wouldn't let me download it! So I tried to create persistent
jaunty on the usb stick using Portable Linux (as per Ubuntu Community
documentation): that refuses to work: giving out an error about the usb
stick (see attached file) but it still wrote to the usb stick: so I'll now
try it - if it fails I should still be able to create a persistent ubuntu
alter bringing up Live from another usb stickt! Has anybody had success with
PortableLinux on Jaunty?

07894 211434

2009/5/8 Adam Sweet <adam at adamsweet.org>

> John Rose wrote:
> > Kevan,
> >
> > I don't intend to use the usb drive with Windows: even if Id id I would
> > use the extfs plugin on a Windows PC. At first, I formatted the usb
> > drive as ext3, but I ran into permissions problems re copying files
> > (using cp) from /home to it. This seemed to be due to gconf-editor
> > system/storage options. So I reformatted it as FAT32. I'll try again
> > reformatting it as ext2.
> Ext3 is Ext2 with added journalling, so that if the power goes out then
> your machine can work what was happening at the time the power went and
> roll back to the last consistent state. In general, this will mean
> losing any files which were partially written at the time of the power
> out. The permission structure will be the same under ext2 and 3, so you
> will need to get it right. I never had any problems backing up and
> restoring files to and from an ext3 USB disk, so you should be fine
> moving the files around provided they are owned by the same user and
> group IDs on each device.
> If your user was the first real user (ie not the root user) added to the
> system during installation you would be assigned uid and gid 500. If you
> copy your files to the USB disk, reinstall your machine and this time
> your own user is the second real user added to system you will end up
> with uid and groupid 501, at that point you would hit permission
> problems because the files are owned by the user with uid and gid 500.
> In a worst case scenario, you should just be able to chown them to which
> ever user you want using sudo and you should be fine. That said, if
> something weird is going on with HAL/gvfs then you might get the
> problems you describe. Not sure how to help you there, but you could
> statically mount the disk the old fashioned way with mount.
> FAT32 is horrible and won't preserve any file permissions, not really
> what you want when restoring your files, use ext2/3 if you can.
> Ad
> >
> > Regards,
> > John
> > 07894 211434
> >
> >
> >
> > 2009/5/8 Kevanf1 <kevanf1 at gmail.com <mailto:kevanf1 at gmail.com>>
> >
> >     2009/5/8 John Rose <john.aaron.rose at googlemail.com
> >     <mailto:john.aaron.rose at googlemail.com>>:
> >     > The disk used on my laptop is approximately 40GB. I want to back
> >     it up to a
> >     > usb 1TB drive, formatted as FAT32 (which also contains films as
> >     they're too
> >     > big for my laptop's disk). As I understand it, the max file size
> >     on a FAT32
> >     > device is 4GB.  I don't see any option in gzip to split large
> >     resultant gzip
> >     > files. The best option seems to me to be to use Partimage, which
> >     allows
> >     > resultant split files.
> >     >
> >     > So my thoughts are:
> >     > to backup the laptop disk partition (only one partition n the
> >     disk) to the
> >     > usb drive monthly, using th split files option,
> >     > to backup the /home directory to the usb drive monthly and
> occasional
> >     > incremental using Simple Backup,
> >     > possibly to separate the /home directory into a separate partition.
> >     >
> >     > Is the above the best way to go?
> >     >
> >     > Regards,
> >     > John
> >     > 07894 211434
> >     >
> >
> >     Hi John.  Now, I'll state right away I have not used this system that
> >     I'm about to describe.
> >
> >     Are you using FAT32 because you need to use the 1TB drive with
> >     Windows?  If so, you have another option that will allow bigger file
> >     sizes than 4gb.  I believe you can use ext2 as the filesystem with a
> >     plug in for Windows so that it can read it.  I don't know what the
> >     file size limit is for ext2 but I'm sure it's a lot bigger than 4gb.
> >     Would this help?  FAT32 is also very wasteful of space so you'd
> >     utilise that drive far more efficiently.
> >     --
> >     ==============================================
> >
> >     Kevan Farmer
> >     Linux user #373362
> >     Staffordshire
> >
> >     _______________________________________________
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> >     Homepage: http://www.wolveslug.org.uk/
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> >
> >
> >
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