I know that one of these days I'm going to lose my laptop and, I'd like to move to a situation where all my data is backed up to the cloud and the laptop is essentially a dumb box (I already make regular backups to a remote drive).

Ideally, I'd like the process to be as transparent as possible so that I don't have to think about it at all. What are your tips for acheiving this?

Some things I already use to this end:

  • remote source control providers (unfuddle, beanstalk, github)
  • google docs
  • gmail

I still have a load of code/photos/docs/tomboy-notes that aren't stored in the cloud though.

Also, what about my Ubuntu set-up? How can I minimise the pain in setting up a new laptop to the configuration I have mine in at the moment?

One tip per answer please.

  • Your question about replicating your Ubuntu setup on a new laptop should be a separate question. – user4358 Aug 18 '09 at 22:25
  • Converted to community wiki as requested by community. – BinaryMisfit Aug 19 '09 at 8:44

I would use Dropbox. It allows you to keep a synchronized collection of files across multiple machines. You can install it on Linux, Mac and Windows and it has a good web interface, so you don't need the software installed in order to access your files.

Even if you don't really need to keep files synchronized across multiple machines, just using to synch between one machine and the cloud is still very useful. This way you can just dump any files you need access to elsewhere in your Dropbox folder, and then it'll suck it up to the cloud. It's a little bit cleaner than using gmail as your online file storage in my opinion.

I also use Tomboy Notes and I've set it up so that my notes are synchronized across my different machines.

  • I have tomboy set up to synchronize with a folder in my dropbox, so everything's in one place. – Matthew Aug 19 '09 at 2:29
  • Could you just use symlinks to add folders to dropbox? Ie - have ~/.tomboy as a symlink to a folder in dropbox to ensure all tomboy notes are backed up. Would this work with /etc too? – codeinthehole Aug 19 '09 at 16:49

Have you considered using Amazon S3(Amazon Simple Storage Service) as your cloud storage? A while back, there was a spiffy article with a back-of-the-envelope cost-benefit analysis to using Amazon's cloud storage for backup. I've never had the impulse to do this, but if I did want to move my data to the cloud, this would be my first avenue of investigation.

s3fs is a fuse filesystem that allows you to mount an Amazon S3 bucket as a local filesystem. It stores files natively and transparently in S3. So, using S3 need not be any different from using a NFS, SHFS or Samba mounted backup disk.

It also helps that there is an array of backup tools for the S3 to suit your every need.


I'd vote for using rsync to backup your data either to another machine or an online store such as http://rsync.net/ or http://www.rsyncit.com/.


Since you are using Ubuntu you can write a simple script to backup your data to your 'cloud'. Once you have the script wrote you can then schedule it to run whenever you want to via a cron job.

Here is an example of a script you can use, just change the ip address, username, domain, and password.

# $1 is the file name
# usage: this_script  <filename>
domain = app.sample.ftp
password= satnam_password

echo "
 open $IP_address
 USER $username $password
 put $1
" > ftp -n > ftp_$$.log

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