Looking for a Backup program

Asked by steveb001

I am looking for a backup program which can copy files from my Ubuntu PC to a Windows XP share on my network and vice versa. The program needs to be capable of full and incremental backups (i.e. only files which have been changed since the last backup) and needs to copy the files in their original format (i.e without tarring or zipping them into an archive) so they appear as files on my XP share. I am currently doing this with Secondcopy and Cobian Backup on my other XP and Vista PCs with no problem.

Does anyone know of an application which provides the same functionality as these applications? I would really appreciate some help as this is the last issue that I am trying to resolve, as I have alternative programs for all of my previous functionality under Vista.

Many thanks in advance

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helix84 (helix84) said :

Although I'm not familiar with backup tools, I'll try to answer your question.

I don't think you need support for Windows shares directly in your Linux backup program. You can mount them like any FS using samba tools. As they will appear normally inside your directory structure when mounted, you can use any backup tool.

You can find more about using samba e.g. here or with a google search:

Hope this helps.

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steveb001 (stevebond001) said :

Many thanks for the prompt reply.

I have already successfully been able to mount my XP share within Ubuntu (using the mount command), and access it successfully (although I still have an issue with permissions on it but that's another story). From there i can access all data that is stored on the XP share.

The issue that I have is that all of the backup programs I have tried within Ubuntu typically create an archive file (.tar.gz) containing the backup files. What I am after is a program which actually copies the files as they are, to the XP share. I would imagine that there are a number of command line scripts that would provide the desired result (i.e. checking the archive attribute and copying files appropriately) but I am not a script wizard and really need a GUI to set this up.

Thanks once again for your help.

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Mathias Uebelacker (muebelacker) said :

Hello Steve,

i prefer Ghost4Linux [1].


[1] http://sourceforge.net/projects/g4l

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steveb001 (stevebond001) said :

Thanks very much for the suggestion. However, g4l is an imaging tool to used create an image of a PC. I am looking for a backup utility to copy user data to an XP share (without compressing them into an archive)

Thanks once again

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mrog (michael-studiomeister) said :

Once you have the share mounted on you Ubuntu desktop try backupninja with rdiff-backup.

apt-get install rdiff-backup backupninja

More info here.

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steveb001 (stevebond001) said :

Thanks for the reply. Sorry I haven't responded sooner but I have been a bit busy over the last few days.

I looked at Backupninja and rdiff-backup. unfortunately, they don't seem very easy to setup so I can't really tell if they do what I want (coming from a windows environment I prefer a gui rather than scripts).

I am still looking around at the moment for a suitable product (there must be one out there). However, I am running Secondcopy from within crossover office which seems to be working fairly well (although I am still receiving error messages when trying to fully configure it). I may have to continue with this approach until either I find a suitable program, fix the error with secondcopy, or run secondcopy from within a XP virtual machine.

Surely I can't be the only person who is looking for a simple, gui driven, file copy and synchronisation tool.....

Thanks anyway.

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CMNetworx (cmnetworx) said :

I realize you are not exactly into scripts, but here is one that I had found at one point, I run this one on my pc..
All you need to set is the SOURCES, and the TARGET, Then save the file as backup.sh or whatever you want with a .sh at the end, and to execute it in the terminal type sh backup.sh. If you are as root I think you can just set the permissions as executable and just double click on it.. Not sure though, You may also have to type sudo sh backup.sh which kind of defeats the purpose because it would require user interaction..

# mybackup.sh -- backup to an external drive using rsync.

# Directories to backup. Seperate with a space. Exclude trailing slash!

# Directory to backup to. This is where your backup(s) will be stored. No spaces in names!
# :: NOTICE :: -> Make sure this directory is empty or contains ONLY backups created by
# this script and NOTHING else. Exclude trailing slash!

# Your EXCLUDE_FILE tells rsync what NOT to backup. Leave it unchanged if you want
# to backup all files in your SOURCES. If performing a FULL SYSTEM BACKUP, ie.
# Your SOURCES is set to "/", you will need to make use of EXCLUDE_FILE.
# The file should contain directories and filenames, one per line.
# A good example would be:
# /proc
# /tmp

# Comment out the following line to disable verbose output


# Set name (date) of backup.
BACKUP_DATE="`date +%F_%H-%M`"

if [ ! -x $TARGET ]; then
  echo "Backup target does not exist or you don't have permission!"
  echo "Exiting..."
  exit 2

echo "Verifying Sources..."
for source in $SOURCES; do
 echo "Checking $source..."
 if [ ! -x $source ]; then
     echo "Error with $source!"
     echo "Directory either does not exist, or you do not have proper permissions."
     exit 2

if [ -f $EXCLUDE_FILE ]; then

echo "Sources verified. Running rsync..."
for source in $SOURCES; do

  # Create directories in $TARGET to mimick source directory hiearchy
  if [ ! -d $TARGET/$BACKUP_DATE/$source ]; then
    mkdir -p $TARGET/$BACKUP_DATE/$source

  rsync $VERBOSE --exclude=$TARGET/ $EXCLUDE -az --delete $source/ $TARGET/$BACKUP_DATE/$source/


exit 0

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CMNetworx (cmnetworx) said :

I have found a more graphical option for you..

<a href="http://www.debianadmin.com/backup-and-restore-your-ubuntu-system-using-sbackup.html">http://www.debianadmin.com/backup-and-restore-your-ubuntu-system-using-sbackup.html</a>

They have installation instructions for use with apt-get or synaptic package manager, whichever you prefer..

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steveb001 (stevebond001) said :

Many thanks for the information and patience. I have looked at the two suggestions above but unfortunately they do not work for me as follows:

1. The script states that no spaces are allowed in the source path. Unfortunately I need this facility.
2. sbackup (the links you sent me) does not appear to backup the files in their original state - rather it backs them up into an archive (which I can't really use as I need access to these files from other PCs, including XP).

However, I have managed to find a solution to the problem, although it does not cater for all my requirements but most of them. I have installed and configured Grsync (a gui for Rsync I believe) which copies the files from one directory to another. This program also has the ability to run pre and post backup scripts so I can ping the XP box to wake it up from standby, mount the share that I am backing up to, perform the backup, and then unmount the share after backup has finished.

The only two drawbacks with this solution is that I cannot perform differential backups (i.e. only the files which have been changed since last full backup) so I have to perform a full backup every time (bit of a pain when you've got 500 MB of pictures and only a handful of them get changed / added, but at least I'm backing up). The other drawback is that I don't know if it's possible to schedule these backups at present (but I'm still working on that).

Thanks very much to everyone who helped. It's really comforting to know that there are so many people out there who are willing to help. Thanks once again.

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CMNetworx (cmnetworx) said :

hmm, I'll have to look into that one..

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Jim Hutchinson (jphutch) said :

I didn't read all of this but if you want a backup program there is one already installed by default in 7.04 (not sure about earlier versions). It's simply called "simple backup". It under system - admin. There is a config option to set things up and a restore option to, well, restore. It's easy to use and already there. Give it a try.