The Secret to Backing up Home Folders

Here are the things I do to keep my home folder backups to 2 GB or less:

  • Clear Firefox’s cache. This is a big space hog, and cache is worthless.
  • I filter out “.azureus/torrents/”, a folder of mine, so that any BitTorrent downloads aren’t included in my backups. They usually are demos of games I want to try before I buy, so I never keep them anyway.
  • Any software or data I could care less about or can easily reconfigure I usually filter out as well. This includes:
    • ePSXe: barely used, never keep the games or save data
    • Vendetta: demo, why keep it?
    • Wine: because everything I do with Wine is easily deletable or easily redone
    • Videos I re-encoded for my Palm: would rather re-encode again than back up 1GB+
    • All ISO’s: can redownload
    • VirtualBox: can reinstall the virtual images much easier than backing up and restoring 8+ GB.

Duplicity’s command line for the operation, in all it’s glory, is this:

duplicity $1 -v9
–exclude “/home/jacob/.azureus/torrents/**”
–exclude “/home/jacob/.epsxe”
–exclude “/home/jacob/.vendetta”
–exclude “/home/jacob/.wine”
–exclude “/home/jacob/.feeded/vids”
–exclude “/home/jacob/Documents/Personal/Music”
–exclude “**.iso”
–exclude “/home/jacob/.VirtualBox”
/home/jacob ftp://USER@HOST.EXT/folder/folder

With these settings, my backups take less than 15 minutes a day. If this hasn’t convinced you to start a regular backup, I don’t know what will. (And if you’ve already tried, but find it hard to get into a habit, and don’t like cron because you don’t know of a good time when your computer is on and you’re not using it, try doing your backups before you log in in the morning.)

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