Automatic file copy for backup - how to get ?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
Post Reply
Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Automatic file copy for backup - how to get ?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

I am trying to avoid downgrading from Win7 to Win10. I would prefer to move to Mint.

I use Win7 currently. For backups I have used a program called ViceVersa, more or less trouble-free for about 20 years. This program runs all the time and copies changed/deleted/new folders and files on my data drive ('Source') in my PC and:

1) Over-writes the ('Target') backup copy files on an external HD so as to update them.

2) Deletes the ('Target') backup copy files on an external HD if that file was deleted on the 'Source' drive. And does the same for any folder which is deleted from the 'Source' drive

3) Creates and maintains, on an external HD, an 'Archive' folder containing changed or deleted folders and files. In this way you can go to the archive and open any previous iteration of a file, including deleted files.



Is there a program I can buy which will run on Linux Mint which will do the same?

PS. My job is very time consuming and I am a carer for my invalided wife - I therefore would not be able to find the time to learn Linux commands etc - I just want to pay someone some money instead.
Last edited by Enterprise Guy on Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

barneyblogggs
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:40 am
Location: Newcastle, UK

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get

Post by barneyblogggs »

Hi Enterprise Guy, from 1 newbie to another welcome to the world of Linux where probably the best solutions are free (Unike Windows)
Have a look into Timeshift which is installed by default on Mint 19.x
Also have a look into rsync
Once you have researched these you will find that you can do more or less what you are intending to do.
Researching these is all of the fun, especially when you can step back and say "Hey I did that"
Good Luck, and dont forget, if you get stuck with something, come back here and tell us everything you have tried and what the problem is.
I have found this forum invaluable.

barneyblogggs

Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

Thanks - I'll have a look

barneyblogggs
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:40 am
Location: Newcastle, UK

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by barneyblogggs »

Take a look at this thread
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=292281
Created by me.
The replies to my questions may help you.

barneyblogggs

Lady Fitzgerald
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:12 pm
Location: AZ, SSA (Squabbling States of America)

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

I do not recommend automatic backups. They require access to the computer at all times. If you accidentally delete something, the backup program will also delete it. Linux is far less prone to viruses and other malware but if something does get in and wipes or corrupts the drive(s) in the computer, it will take your backups with it. Manual backups, if using the correct program, will take a very short time to start, then will run unattended.

Backups should never be on a drive in the computer, especially the drive the OS is on. Timeshift is an exception because it acts more like System Restore in Windows. Most people recommend setting Timeshift to make automatic, scheduled backups but I prefer to manually make a snapshots just before making a change to the OS or programs, such as installing updates, adding or deleting programs, or changing settings. This keeps clutter in the OS partition down, reducing the need for cleaning out earlier snapshots quite a bit. It doesn't take long to manually make a snapshot. I have my Timeshfit snapshots stored on my /home folder so a major FUBAR on the OS partition won't take out the snapshots. However, if the entire drive takes a dump, I would be out of luck.

That is why it is important to also have backups on external drives that are kept powered down and disconnected from the computer at all times except while updating a backup. I suggest setting up your computer so your /home folder is on its own partition. Then use some kind of imaging program (Clonezilla is a popular one) to take a snapshot every now and then (as often as is practical) of your OS and boot folders and save them on an external drive (two, one onsite and one offsite, would be better). The images are small enough you can can keep several of them in case you need to go back further than the previous image or in case you get a bad image (stuff happens).

For the data on your /home folder, I suggest using a folder/file syncing program, such as FreeFileSync (FFS). FFS works by comparing the source (in this case, your /home folder) with the target (your backup drive), then copies and deletes files to and on the target as needed to wind up with what is essentially a clone of your /home folder. After the initial backup, the process goes extremely quickly. FFS also has the option to send files deleted from the target to a user designated folder so you will be protected from accidental deletions or files deleted due to corruption.

It all sounds complicated but, once set up, it is simple to use and is very quick to update backups with little user intervention. I can't give you much in the way of details just yet because I'm also a new refugee from Win 7 and I'm still working out the details. I've put a few crude backups in place so I'm protected for now but I want to iron out those pesky little details to make my life a little easier. I've been busy learning how to use Linux Mint (it's basically forgetting most of what I learned about Windows and starting all over again; that's not a complaint, btw) and moving a ton of data from my old Win 7 notebook to the "new" Linux notebook (there is a lot of Windows specific "stuff" that has to be weeded out along with obsolete data I should have cleared out a long time ago.
Jeannie

Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.3
Lenovo B50 15" notebook

Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

Thanks guys but I just want a turnkey solution where I simply specify source/master folders and the location of the USB external hard drive/s where i want the backup copies placed and then automatically updated.

There are so many packages that you can buy to do that for Widows - I thought that there would be a similar package for Linux Mint.

Linux Mint itself is downloaded as a package so I guess I am surprised that a software application isn't available to run on Mint which does backups without complex UI or command line input.

Thanks for the suggestions anyway.

EDIT: Lady Fitzgerald: Thanks for your info. I was not aware that malicious activity could go through my PC and delete my external (USB) backups. Having to connect and re-connect USB backup drives seems inefficient but if there is that threat then fair enough.

MY CURRENT SYSTEM: I have a physically separate 'Data' drive on my PC where all my data is kept. Within my PC I also have a physically separate System Drive for Win7 and a physically separate System Drive for Linux 'Mint'. Currently my PC automatically boots into Win7 with booting into Linux Mint as an option. The minute Win7 loads the backup application runs and copies changes over to two separate external USB hard drives all day long as soon as it detects changes. If i make an accidental change or deletion I simply go to the 'Archive' and restore the original.

I would prefer to support Linux but can't see how given the above replies. I can't spend time I don't have on a technical learning curve.

User avatar
pbear
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5085
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by pbear »

Sounds like you've already given up, but I will mention Back in Time (discussed in the other threads) probably is the closest thing Linux has to what you're used to. Just put it on a short leash as regards how many snapshots it retains. Also will mention. If you want to transition to Linux, you're going to have to do some work and let go of the expectation that everything will work the same. Or just stay with Windows. Not the end of the world.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Before you post, please read how to get help.

Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

Thanks for the input pbear.

I haven't given up - I've been trying for years to switch to Mint.

With regard to 'expectations' you are correct - and I think that open source operating systems and the people that spend their time developing them are fantastic.

However there is the other side of the coin - I literally don't have the time to learn command line. And literally millions of other people would like to use Linux but also literally don't have the time to learn command line. So it is actually impossible for them.

The odd thing is, is that there are only 3 factors to consider ( one block and two annoyances ):

1. The block: The brick wall for somebody who wants to use/support Mint but can't through lack of time or ability to get through the learning curve to create backups is the lack of a turn-key solution with an easy UX for back-ups.
2. Annoyance one: The way the file manager Noto makes you toggle between two views all the time. I just put up with it though.
3. Annoyance two: The quality of font rendering. I just put up with that or re-boot into Windows.

So there is only one thing to do to get millions of more Mint users - provide a turn-key solution with an easy UX for back-ups

When you think about how Mint and other free of charge software can help the world by providing solutions for poorer people, underfunded schools, ete, etc, who have to pay exorbitant prices to provide bits more cash for the billionaire super-elite who's greed and psychopathy is destroying our planet and creating misery. I would have thought that the expectations of Mint developers could also perhaps change - just a little bit. Maybe the Mint Developers could meet the millions of their potential supporters and donators half-way - maybe deal with that one thing, the block ?

Then, once these millions more Mint users arrive, lots of them will end-up learning command line syntax anyway - when they can find the time.

User avatar
pbear
Level 14
Level 14
Posts: 5085
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by pbear »

Enterprise Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:43 am
I literally don't have the time to learn command line.
Nonsense. You have time for what you choose to make time for. Anyhoo, no point giving soapbox speeches here. We're users, not developers. And, for what it's worth, the developers consider themselves greatly overextended also. Everyone understands better documentation would be good.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Before you post, please read how to get help.

dawgdoc
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:53 am
Location: Formerly of Kentucky, the land of Mint Juleps

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by dawgdoc »

Enterprise Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:43 am

2. Annoyance one: The way the file manager Noto makes you toggle between two views all the time. I just put up with it though.
I suspect I am incorrectly interpreting the annoyance. But, in Nemo go to Edit > Preferences to open the File Management Preferences window. Once open, in the left column select Behavior. The first sub-heading on the right is Behavior and the fifth entry under it is Ignore per-folder view preferences. Toggle this and see if Nemo suits you better. (Also, you may like the fourth entry, Always start in dual pane view.)
SYSTEMS:
HP 15-bw0017cl -- Mint 19.3 Cinnamon
Compaq Presario CQ62 -- Mint 17 Cinnamon (support for 80 y/o family members 1st install)
READING:
The Secret of the Ninth Planet by Donald A. Wollheim

Lady Fitzgerald
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 367
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:12 pm
Location: AZ, SSA (Squabbling States of America)

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Enterprise Guy wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:56 am
...Having to connect and re-connect USB backup drives seems inefficient but if there is that threat then fair enough...

...I would prefer to support Linux but can't see how given the above replies. I can't spend time I don't have on a technical learning curve.
Connecting and disconnecting USB backup drives isn't as inefficient and time consuming as you may think. The increased data security is well worth the small amount of extra time and hassle it takes. If you segregate your data from your OS, making and maintaining backups can be safe, fast, and simple. Learning how is the hardest part but, after that, it's a breeze.

Any time you want to use something new, there will a learning curve. Depending on what the new thing is, the curve can range from gentle and short to steep and long. Learning how to use Linux is somewhere in the middle. However, if you can somehow find the time to learn how to use Linux and tailor to your needs, you will probably find it will be well worth your time. I'm not going to lie and say it's simple--that will vary from person to person--but it's not as bad as some people make it out to be.

Based on expert advice I've read (and my own amateur experiences), it's better to learn how to use Linux on a separate computer (it can be an older one) rather than dual boot on one machine. Besides not having to deal with the added complications dual booting can cause, you will be less like to be dead in the water if you bork the Linux installation (if you don't bork anything, you are being overly cautious or aren't trying hard enough :wink: ).

I started out, back in the middle of last December, by installing Linux Mint 19.1 on an older (but, up to then, unused) notebook computer, then fooled around on it while still using my Win 7 machine as my daily driver. In a period of a little over a month, I gradually started using the "new" Linux machine as my daily driver and using the Win 7 machine as a backup drive (I borked my Linux machine a couple of times and to reinstall). I now haven't fired up my Win 7 machine in over a week and the last three weeks, I've fired it up only to grab some data to put on the Linux machine. In another week or few, once I'm sure I have transferred all the data I need or want to keep get ambitious enough, I'll install Mint on the Windows machine so I will have a backup Linux machine (I'm so never going to use Windows ever again).
Jeannie

Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.3
Lenovo B50 15" notebook

Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

dawgdoc wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:47 am
Enterprise Guy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:43 am

2. Annoyance one: The way the file manager Noto makes you toggle between two views all the time. I just put up with it though.
I suspect I am incorrectly interpreting the annoyance. But, in Nemo go to Edit > Preferences to open the File Management Preferences window. Once open, in the left column select Behavior. The first sub-heading on the right is Behavior and the fifth entry under it is Ignore per-folder view preferences. Toggle this and see if Nemo suits you better. (Also, you may like the fourth entry, Always start in dual pane view.)
Thanks for your help Dawgdoc, sorry about the delayed response. I am more used to Mint's file manager now - I just stay in Treeview all the time except the annoying bit when I start work when 'Treeview' does not show the NAS so I have to toggle to the 'Show Places' view, click the NAS, wait for it to appear and then go back to 'Treeview'. When I use Windows 'Explorer' I just go to 'Explorer' and the NAS is there, everything is in the equivalent of Treeview' and I just get on with my work without all the delays imposed by Nemo.

But Mint is free except for the non-obligatory contributions we make so I shouldn't complain if it's file manager causes a bit of frustration and extra steps to do the same thing.

Enterprise Guy
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:03 am

Re: Automatic file copy for backup - how to get?

Post by Enterprise Guy »

Lady Fitzgerald wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:48 am
Enterprise Guy wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:56 am
...Having to connect and re-connect USB backup drives seems inefficient but if there is that threat then fair enough...

...I would prefer to support Linux but can't see how given the above replies. I can't spend time I don't have on a technical learning curve.
Connecting and disconnecting USB backup drives isn't as inefficient and time consuming as you may think. The increased data security is well worth the small amount of extra time and hassle it takes. If you segregate your data from your OS, making and maintaining backups can be safe, fast, and simple. Learning how is the hardest part but, after that, it's a breeze.

Any time you want to use something new, there will a learning curve. Depending on what the new thing is, the curve can range from gentle and short to steep and long. Learning how to use Linux is somewhere in the middle. However, if you can somehow find the time to learn how to use Linux and tailor to your needs, you will probably find it will be well worth your time. I'm not going to lie and say it's simple--that will vary from person to person--but it's not as bad as some people make it out to be.

Based on expert advice I've read (and my own amateur experiences), it's better to learn how to use Linux on a separate computer (it can be an older one) rather than dual boot on one machine. Besides not having to deal with the added complications dual booting can cause, you will be less like to be dead in the water if you bork the Linux installation (if you don't bork anything, you are being overly cautious or aren't trying hard enough :wink: ).

I started out, back in the middle of last December, by installing Linux Mint 19.1 on an older (but, up to then, unused) notebook computer, then fooled around on it while still using my Win 7 machine as my daily driver. In a period of a little over a month, I gradually started using the "new" Linux machine as my daily driver and using the Win 7 machine as a backup drive (I borked my Linux machine a couple of times and to reinstall). I now haven't fired up my Win 7 machine in over a week and the last three weeks, I've fired it up only to grab some data to put on the Linux machine. In another week or few, once I'm sure I have transferred all the data I need or want to keep get ambitious enough, I'll install Mint on the Windows machine so I will have a backup Linux machine (I'm so never going to use Windows ever again).
Thanks for your reply Lady Fitzgerald. Our propriety backup system which works only with Windows detects changes to files on a physically separate internal data drive (the 'Source') and updates both of the two physically separate external USB drives so we have three copies of each file. In addition the backup program copies the previous version of a changed or deleted file to a folder titled Archive, appending the file name with the date and time it was superceded or deleted - and it is set to keep unlimited previous versions for 2 years. We have used it since about 2001 and it has never let us down. We don't feel that there is a need to disconnect the external USB drives so they are permanently plugged in to the rear USB ports. The program costs about £70 and, to us, is worth every penny - but it does not run on Linux and our request for a version that did was responded to negatively.

We just want a simple system like that to assist in our attempts to go "Microsoft Free" - but there does not appear to be one at any price. We have cash waiting and clicking around I am aware that there are many other people thinking the same way.

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”