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Old 11-29-2007, 12:50 AM
"Paul Smith"
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Dear All,

What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
external hard disk? Can one do that while logged in? Or should one use
the rescue CD?

Thanks in advance,

Paul

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Old 11-29-2007, 12:57 AM
Frank Cox
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 01:50:15 +0000
Paul Smith <phhs80@gmail.com> wrote:

> What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
> external hard disk?

tar


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Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 AM
Karl Larsen
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Paul Smith wrote:

Dear All,

What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
external hard disk? Can one do that while logged in? Or should one use
the rescue CD?

Thanks in advance,

Paul


If you can I did the same thing using cp -a * while logged in and it
took awhile but it worked fine. I am using it now.


Karl


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Old 11-29-2007, 01:02 AM
Ed Greshko
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Paul Smith wrote:
> Dear All,
>
> What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
> external hard disk? Can one do that while logged in? Or should one use
> the rescue CD?
>

Depends on what you mean by "best".

Sometimes the following can be "best".....

find . -depth -print | cpio -pdlmv newdir

In this example, cpio -p takes the file names piped to it
and copies or links (-l option) those files to another
directory, newdir. The -d option says to create directories
as needed. The -m option says to retain the modification
time. (It is important to use the -depth option of find(1)
to generate path names for cpio. This eliminates problems
that cpio could have trying to create files under read-only
directories.) The destination directory, newdir, must exist.

Notice that when you use cpio in conjunction with find, if
you use the -L option with cpio, you must use the -follow
option with find and vice versa. Otherwise, there will be
undesirable results.

For multi-reel archives, dismount the old volume, mount the
new one, and continue to the next tape by typing the name of
the next device (probably the same as the first reel). To
stop, type a <RETURN> and cpio will end.

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Old 11-29-2007, 01:05 AM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Paul Smith wrote:

Dear All,

What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
external hard disk? Can one do that while logged in? Or should one use
the rescue CD?


Mount the external disk somewhere or note where it auto-mounted, cd to
the top of the directory where you want to start, then:

rsync -avH . /path/to/destinaton/directory

If you repeat this on the same drive it will know enough to only copy
the changed parts - and you may or may not want to add the --delete
option to remove files that no longer exist on the source.


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Old 11-29-2007, 07:01 PM
Robin Laing
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Frank Cox wrote:

On Thu, 29 Nov 2007 01:50:15 +0000
Paul Smith <phhs80@gmail.com> wrote:


What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
external hard disk?


tar




I will vote against tar.

I used it for a backup some time ago and just this past weekend, I had
to recover 4 files. Due to the size of the tar file, it took ages. I
am talking hours.


With the cost of drives today, I would just use cp -a. I have not used
rsync so I cannot comment on that.



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Old 11-29-2007, 07:15 PM
Todd Zullinger
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Robin Laing wrote:
> With the cost of drives today, I would just use cp -a. I have not
> used rsync so I cannot comment on that.

You owe it to yourself to try rsync, Robin.

For something like a backup of your home dir, it would be perfect.
The first run isn't much different than cp -a (except that you can use
options like --progress to get more details about the operation). But
the second time you run it to update your files, there's a major
difference, since rsync will intelligently copy only the parts of the
files that are different between you home and your backup. The
ability to include and exclude various files based on name or shell
globs is also incredibly useful for backups.

I use rsync a lot, even for copies on the same box. It's one of those
tools that once you start using, you can't imagine not having (command
line crack, perhaps? .

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Old 11-29-2007, 07:23 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Robin Laing wrote:
>
> I will vote against tar.
>
> I used it for a backup some time ago and just this past weekend, I had
> to recover 4 files. Due to the size of the tar file, it took ages. I
> am talking hours.
>
> With the cost of drives today, I would just use cp -a. I have not used
> rsync so I cannot comment on that.
>
For copying things like your home directory to another drive, tar
works fairly well - you do not save it to a file. Instead you pipe
the output of one tar command to a second one.

tar cvf - --directory=<source> . | tar xvf - --directory=<destination>

But other methods also work. I like using rsync myself.

Mikkel
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for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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Old 11-29-2007, 07:25 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Copying one's home directory to an external hard disk

Robin Laing wrote:



What is the best way of copying *entirely* one's home directory to an
external hard disk?


tar


I will vote against tar.

I used it for a backup some time ago and just this past weekend, I had
to recover 4 files. Due to the size of the tar file, it took ages. I
am talking hours.


With the cost of drives today, I would just use cp -a. I have not used
rsync so I cannot comment on that.


There would be almost no difference on the first run except that you can
interrupt and restart without repeating what had been completed. On a
subsequent update, only the changes are copied so it can be hundreds of
times faster. Plus, if you add -essh (the default for recent versions)
and a host: on the source or destination, the syntax is the same for
remote copies that are just as efficient.


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