December 4, 2005

Backing up Windows machines using rsync and ssh

As all other unix tricks this is also the result of laziness and the need. I wanted to backup data on my windows laptop to a central linux/unix server. I didn't want all the features of available expensive backup solutions. Just a simple updated copy of my data on a central machine which is backed up to the tape daily. rsync is known for fast incremental transfer and was an obvious choice for the purpose.

We have a unix machine at our workplace which has a directory structure /backup/username allocated for backing up user data. rsync has a client/server architecture, where rsync client talks to an rsync daemon at the server side (This statement may not be completely true. I am not sure and don't care also. You can refer to rsync manpage for complete discussion over rsync.). rsync client can connect to rsync server directly or through other remote transport programs like rsh, ssh etc. I decided to use ssh for transport for security and simplicity.

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I would like to hear if it was useful to you.

Manu Garg

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