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I have a desktop running Ubuntu. My media collections go to an external HDD, plugged directly into the PC. This HDD is formatted with NTFS, so I can temporarily plug the HDD to a Windows PC and read the data from there, if I happen to need it.

I want to backup both the storage HDD and the home folder of the computer to a second external HDD. I want to use something more comfortable than pure rsync, and it looks like dirvish is a good solution. However, I read somewhere that it will only create hardlinks if the source and target device have the same filesystem. This is unfortunate, because I have two sources with two different filesystems, the Ubuntu home folder on Ext4 and the media collection on NTFS.

Is there a backup system which doesn't suffer from this problem? Or do I have to create different partitions with different filesystems and manage two separate backup processes?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

No. You can only create a hardlink to the same filesystem. Ever. Period.

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Thank you for the quick and definite answer, I just have to wait a bit before the system will let me accept. – rumtscho Jan 4 '12 at 2:36
Note that this does not mean that the backup solution won't work, just that it needs to make a complete copy of the file. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 4 '12 at 2:40
But doesn't that mean that it will be making a new file copy every time, instead of an incremental backup? That's what the article implied, and my backup drive is only as big as the source drive. – rumtscho Jan 4 '12 at 2:43
I don't know what article you're talking about. And I'd almost always choose the actual documentation over an article. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 4 '12 at 2:44
For those looking at this later, this answer means the same filesystem e.g. /dev/sda2, not the same filesystem type. Hardlinks are multiple links pointing to the same physical location on disk and have no provisions for crossing partitions, etc. – fencepost Jan 4 '12 at 3:44

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