Home data backup recipe

Ok, I’ve finally decided to get off my butt and do something about making backups of all the precious family data. Up until now it has just been waiting to fall into a digital black hole.


  • one linux server
  • enough hard disk space to make backups
  • family PCs running Windows that have precious data on them
  • a home network
  • General information about using snapshot/rsync backup method
  • snapback2 backup software

From here on, I’ll suppose that the server, windows PCs and network are already installed.

To get a working backup system, do the following

  • Install Config::ApacheFormat from CPAN

        perl -MCPAN -e shell
        cpan> install Config::ApacheFormat
  • Install snapback2
  • Create /etc/snapback2.conf containing something like this with a Directory directive for each PC

        Hourlies 4
        Dailies 7
        Weeklies 4
        Monthlies 12
        #AutoTime Yes
        AutoTime No
        Compress No
        Debug 4
        #AdminEmail backups@yourdomain.org
        AdminEmail you@yourdomain
        AlwaysEmail Yes
        LogFile /var/log/snapback.log
        ChargeFile /var/log/snapback.charges
        Exclude core.*
        SnapbackRoot /etc/snapback
        #DestinationList /mnt/backup1 /mnt/backup2
        DestinationList /root/snapshot
        RsyncShell none
        Directory /mnt/FranksDocs/
        Directory /mnt/JonsDocs/
        Directory /home/share/
  • Run snapback2 from cron every hour

      0 * * * * /usr/bin/snapback2
  • Configure PCs to share documents read only
  • Use automount and Samba to access the documents on the PC hard disks

    • Put the following into /etc/auto.master

      /mnt file:/etc/auto.mnt
      • For each PC add something like this into /etc/auto.mnt

        • FranksDocs -fstype=smbfs,username=guest,password=,ro,fmask=755,dmask=755 ://
    • make sure automount is started at boot time (symbolic link in /etc/rc5.d)
    • Export backups locally read-only through NFS (/etc/exports)
      • /root/snapshot/localhost/mnt/FranksDocs,ro,norootsquash) *execute exportfs -a
    • Mount read-only file system accessible to users (/etc/fstab)
      • /snapshot/FranksDocs nfs ro,addr= 0 0 o create mount point /snapshot/FranksDocs
    • Export using Samba so users can access their backups

      • Create /etc/samba/smb.conf

        + # Global Parameters
          workgroup = YOURWORKGROUP
          security = SHARE
          server string =
          #printing = CUPS
          #printcap name = CUPS
          disable spoolss = Yes
          #show add printer wizard = No
          wins support = yes
        + [SaveFrank]
          comment = Recover old versions of Frank's files here
          path = /snapshot/FranksDocs
          read only = Yes
          force user = share
          force group = family
          guest ok = Yes
          nt acl support = No
  • That’s it you’re done

2 thoughts on “Home data backup recipe

  1. Alexander Houben

    Hi Frank,

    a great recipe, that’s exactly what I was looking for for some time now. I’ll try it out in the next few days and come back with feedback.

    cheers, alex


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