At work, I stored all my important data on the lab's server which (obviously) was backed up once a day. At home, on my personal laptop I haven't had a systematic backup solution. Now I'm changing this.

Everyday backup with Obnam

I decided that I will backup my laptop's important data on my home file-server. It's a DNS-320 ShareCenter with 2x1TB disk in RAID 1. Naturally, this won't save me in case of theft or fire in my house, but I will deal with the off-site backup problem later, when a local backup problem is solved.

For my backups I use Obnam. My configuration file ~/.obnam.conf is qute simple:

repository = /media/nas/backup
log = /home/dwagner/.obnam/obnam.log
exclude = /home/dwagner/temp, /home/dwagner/pictures

To backup I run:

$ obnam backup $HOME

which takes a couple of minutes. Occasionally I make obnam forget the old files:

$ obnam forget --keep=14d

Of course I could put this in a little script and use cron or something to run the backup regularly, but I do it manually for a while to gain some experience.

I exclude the temporary files in my home directory because it just contains all kinds of junk I don't really care loosing. I also don't backup this way the pictures directory, since I secure my photos in there differently.

Photo backup with git-annex

I store my personal photo collection in a git-annex repository. I have at least two copies of all the pictures (one on the file server and one on a USB HDD dedicated for this purpose). A copy of the recent photos, usually the current year's are on my laptop as well. I noticed that these are the pictures I access the most frequently, mainly showing them to friends and family. If I need to go back earlier in time, I can have those photos from home in a day (or when I go home), but not instantly from my laptop. This works for me, because the SSD on my laptop is not that spacious, and I don't want to store all my photos on it.

When I download new pictures from my camera I do git-annex sync across the picture repositories making sure that my precious memories are well preserved.