2019-11-24-backups.md (2589B) - raw


      1 <!-- title: Backing up my computer -->
      2 <!-- slug: backups -->
      3 <!-- categories: FOSS, Privacy -->
      4 <!-- date: 2019-11-24T00:00:00Z -->
      5 
      6 If you have important information on your computer, you probably back it up
      7 somehow. I used to save all my important files on Google Drive, which was
      8 convenient not only because it would make backups automatically, but because I
      9 could access my files from any computer, or even my phone without much effort.
     10 
     11 Since reducing my dependency on Google, that isn't an option anymore, so I had
     12 to find an alternative. I have an account in a server running Nextcloud, so I
     13 could use it the way I used Google Drive—and I could access it as easily from
     14 other computers or my phone—, but I am also trying to reduce the amount of
     15 private information I put online (whether it is behind a password or not), so I
     16 decided that I should have offline backups for my computer[^note].
     17 
     18 [^note]: Regardless of the existence of an online backup, making an offline one
     19   is an interesting option, as you have full control over it.
     20 
     21 The main problem with backups is the effort/time spent doing them, so the
     22 process had to be as automated as possible, as well as fast and efficient. I
     23 decided to use the `rsync` tool, as it efficiently copies files from one
     24 directory to another, skipping the ones that are already up to date (it is also
     25 preinstalled and easy to run from the terminal). I use a bunch of options that
     26 make the transfer behave as I want to, and I created an alias for the command,
     27 so I only need to type `backup_all` to back up my computer.
     28 
     29 On top of my ordinary backup, I do a secondary backup (just in case!), which is
     30 made on my everyday USB drive. Having a backup of my `home` folder there is a
     31 little risky, as I have private information on my computer, so that is why I
     32 encrypt the backups. The software I use is [VeraCrypt][vc], and this obviously
     33 makes the backup process a little more complicated. However, I created another
     34 alias that mounts the VeraCrypt volumes (there are two because I need more than
     35 4GiB and the USB drive uses the FAT format), synchronizes the files and unmounts
     36 the volumes. So the only remaining thing for me to do is type in the
     37 passwords—although actually, KeePassXC does that for me. I might even automate
     38 that part in the future, so I only have to type in my master password.
     39 
     40 So backing up my files is a pretty smooth process again, plus I now know exactly
     41 what I am doing when running the command and the backups are made to hardware
     42 that I have access to.
     43 
     44 
     45 [vc]: <https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html> "VeraCrypt"