I have to admit that, until recently, I've been negligent in my backup plan. Oh, I did the occasional database backup and have most of my files replicated on my local drive, but I didn't have a real plan. If disaster had struck I wouldn't have been prepared.
Despite the improvements made each year by GNU/Linux, KDE, and GNOME, recovering from failure is one of the recurring themes many new users struggle with. Why aren't we making it easier to prepare for, and recover from, failure? Here are some proposals to make recovery less painful.
Keep is the second entry in my Backing Up series. It is a lightweight app that makes it simple to create and manage multiple backups. At first glance Keep's feature set looks very solid, but when trying it out I quickly discovered some limitations that really limit its potential.
Today I'll be taking a look at a small backup utility called Konserve. This will be the first in a recurring series where I feature simple backup apps designed for individual use. They will be measured using similar criteria to make it easier to compare between them.
Konserve is a simple backup applet that resides in the system tray. It can be launched from the Utilities menu.
Most of us know we should backup our files, but even when we do it's usually not a fully thought out process and consists of dumping files to a CD/DVD or another hard drive in our homes. That's fine for most recovery situations, but what happens if you have a fire, flood, or your backup media also fails (this has happenned to me before).
Enter online storage. Amazon's S3™ service is an inexpensive way to store data online and JungleDisk makes it easy. At its heart JungleDisk is a WebDAV server that enables easy access to Amazon's servers. The beauty of it is that you can access the files easily through your existing file manager. No more clucky web interfaces or inability to use a favorite backup program.
I've been a fan of drive imaging for a while now. I used Norton Ghost in my first job after college to clone drives for testing in the lab and a couple years later I bought Acronis True Image for backing up my home computer. Imaging an entire drive instead of just backing up documents, pictures, music, etc. not only conserves your irreplacable data, but it also provides an easy path to rebuilding your entire system.
As many of you will notice, Ghost and True Image are Windows programs, although Acronis does have a True Image Server product for Linux. There are some quality imaging apps for non-Windows environments as well. I say non-Windows because g4u (Ghost for Unix), doesn't run on Linux, but uses NetBSD instead. Despite this fact, I added it to the Linux App Finder database for the same reason I add web apps, g4u can be still be used if you run a GNU/Linux OS. This is possible because g4u is not just a simple program. It is released as a boot disk which makes it useable for any operating system with supported file systems.