Current state of my backups

It’s good to have backups. It’s even better to document the backup and recovery procedure, and to test the backups regularly. Here’s where I am in terms of backups and what I’m working on next.

Current state - backups

2013-10-31 What do I want or need to store on my backup drives


The biggest weaknesses I need to work on are:

  • Testing my image backups without risking my main computer – maybe a different drive.
  • Setting up offsite backups, probably handled by swapping encrypted drives and keeping one stored at HackLab
  • Cloning my backup VM into a development VM with proper version control and committing, so I can easily copy changes over

I’ve grabbed files from my backup a few times, and I’m so glad I had them. I wish I’d been better at keeping financial statements and things like that from earlier. I have Ledger records but no electronic statements from 2009. I’ve gotten much better at saving statements every month, so now they’re part of my regular archives. Working on it!

  • Sebastian

    Sacha, are your backups being done automatically? I read somewhere that not only does one backup equal none backup (as you pointed out), but also a true backup should be automated. In that regard, have you looked at duplicati (, a free, open source (LGPL licenced) backup tool that can work with lots of cloud backup services and protocols and stores the backup in AES-256 encrypted archives?

    • sachac

      … so automatic that I’ve forgotten to list it here. =) Yes, I’m now experimenting with Duplicati as a way of backing up some of my files over SCP.

  • Mindey

    Copy to survive :) Why not to just use old-plain rsync with cron-jobs?

    • sachac

      Incremental backups that keep old copies of changed files are good for my working documents. Dropbox keeps backups as well. =)

      • Mindey

        Sure. I do incremental backups of my notes and wikis, but not movies ;) Does Dropbox have internal functionality of keeping backups?

  • Karl

    Hi Sasha!

    How do you backup your data that resides in the cloud? Most people do think that their cloud data will stay there forever. Many facts prove that point being wrong.

    A tipp: I backup cloud data mostly with Memacs: which gets data from a set of data sources (cloud, phone, …) and integrates it into Org-mode. Maybe you are interested in trying it for a couple of Memacs modules …

    • sachac

      I don’t care as much about my Twitter archive or other social media updates, so I’m fine with letting them disappear if something happens. I back up my Flickr images with photosync, which is also a handy way to upload photos. Dropbox gets backed up the usual way. I don’t care too much about my e-mail. Anything important gets posted on my blog or stored elsewhere, and I’ve been backing up my Evernote database too.