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I just bought a 1.5T HDD and a disk enclosure. I connected this disk to my laptop via the provided USB cable. I then used the following command:

rsync -r -t -v --progress --delete -c -l -z / /media/C4E41A11E41A0678/Moonface_BKP/

I ran this for a long (long long) time when i noticed that what had been backed up to the HDD began to be backed up. In other words, when i ran the command, it created a /media directory and a C4... directory below that and kept recursively backing up this directory (since, I suppose, I was backing up the hard drive itself, too).

So...what's the proper way to use rsync?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

My personal favorite way to backup on Linux is Back In Time. It's basically a frontend for rsync oriented towards backup, but it's extremely easy.


But for your rsync command, I'm pretty sure you can get away with just syncing /home which is where anything irreplaceable is anyway, so you could run

rsync -r -t -v --progress --delete -c -l -z /home/ /media/C4E41A11E41A0678/Moonface_BKP/

or if you really need to just exclude /media,

rsync -r -t -v --progress --delete --exclude /media/ -c -l -z / /media/C4E41A11E41A0678/Moonface_BKP/

You may also want to include -a and combine the other letters, making your end result

rsync -arvcz --progress --delete --exclude /media/ / /media/C4E41A11E41A0678/Moonface_BKP/
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i think their might be a typo? should that instead be -z /home/? – Ramy Dec 29 '10 at 5:18
    
@Ramy updated. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think -z is a good idea either. It only compresses on data transfer, which while makes it a bit faster (this is on the fly compression, not that good), will also strain on the CPU. – digitxp Dec 29 '10 at 5:22
    
ah, ok. cool. Thanks for all the info and help! – Ramy Dec 29 '10 at 5:24

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