Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm wondering if there's an easy way to backup files from a linux (Ubuntu, ext4) and Windows (ntfs) partition to an external harddrive (FAT32). I mainly use the linux partition and I tried using rsnapshot but I always get a slew of errors regarding copying of symlinks. I guess this is normal because FAT32 doesn't support symlinks.

Is there another way to back all these files up incrementally like what rsnapshot does while preserving permissions, symlinks, etc?

share|improve this question
    
Is there a reason the external has to be FAT32? Why not reformat it to NTFS or ext2/3/4? You can use Ext2 IFS or Ext2fsd so Windows can access it, too. –  Velociraptors Oct 3 '10 at 3:06
    
ntfs won't preserve symlinks. ext you have to add drivers to windows. that's why most removable media is ntfs or fat. ntfs would be a better idea than fat though...it supports a large max file size to the method in my solution could have larger pseudo partitions. –  hbdgaf Oct 3 '10 at 4:22
add comment

1 Answer

make large files on the fat partition and mount them as a filesystems. then they can be formatted to look like native filesystems and all your symlinks/etc are preserved

share|improve this answer
    
Sorry, can you expand on this a bit more? –  Douglas Dino Oct 3 '10 at 2:58
    
make a 4GB file of random data(think dd if=/dev/rand of=/pathtofat32/pathtofile bs=whatever count=whatever). format the file like it's a partition(mkfs.ext3 /pathtofat32/pathtofile). mount it like you would a partition(mount -o loop -t ext3 /pathtofat32/pathtofile /mountpointforthenewfilesystem). linux doesn't care if it's a file or a device. all devices are treated like files anyway –  hbdgaf Oct 3 '10 at 3:04
    
This is a good option. Your desire to back up onto a broken file system like FAT32 is going to end in tears otherwise. –  user3463 Oct 3 '10 at 3:21
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.