Thursday, January 3, 2008

Backup season

I decided it was time to have some more recent backups.

Most of the time, my personal stuff has had a fairly lax backup policy. I have earlier versions of most of the stuff spanning multiple machines, and a lot of my stuff changes fairly slowly. (Due to lack of time.)

In any case, I figured the start of the year was a good time to make a complete backup.

I say complete backup, but I install new versions of operating systems often enough that I never *really* need a complete backup. I just need a backup of my home directory.

For my personal backups I've long been taking to simple tar files split in to managable chunks. (I've had issues in the past with DVDs with files larger than 1gig. They'll work in some machines but not in others.) Back when everything fit on a CD I could use a simple single tar file.

These days, I make md5sums of the individual files and the final archive. I've also taken to using par2 to create parity files incase the media becomes a little flaky as time passes.

There are disadvantages to my approach, certainly. Specifically, it requires plenty of space while creating the files that will be burned. However, it is nice to be able to have backups from 12 years ago that still work, and to know that my current backups are expected to work as long as the media holds out.

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