November 26, 2004 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone know a good backup program? What I want to do is make a carbon copy of a folder on my laptop and have it on my external firewire drive in OS X.
It's a sample library that is pretty big and I don't want to drag copy to whole thing over every time. What I'd like is some sort of "sync" type backup program that would go in and note which files have been added/ changed. Everything app I've seen just wants to make a folder with the date on it periodically.
posted by Napierzaza to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Carbon Copy Cloner with the sync plugin (it's in the preferences pane.) It's free.

Or RsyncX, but I'd try the easier CCC first.
posted by neustile at 9:32 AM on November 26, 2004

'man tar' + the miracle of SMB/Appletalk/NFS/whatever on earth OS X uses for network file systems these days.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 10:01 AM on November 26, 2004

CCC link. I'd only note that CCC can only work with volumes and folders at the root of a specified volume, which may be a mildly limiting feature.
posted by mwhybark at 10:59 AM on November 26, 2004

rsync is the utility you seek. Type 'man rsync' at the command line prompt in the Terminal app. There is a OS X GUI front-end for it here. I've never used it myself, but if the command line is off-putting, it may be for you.
posted by maniactown at 11:46 AM on November 26, 2004

Actually, if you have files with resource forks, you probably want psync and PsyncX. The GUI has a handy way to schedule backups making use of the cron facility already built in to the OS.

I'm a tremendous fan of rsync, but psync works well and understands the particular weirdnesses of the Mac filesystem.

C_T: tar's not particularly great for incremental synchronization -- don't get me wrong, I love tar and I do slightly obscure things (like tar cRf - | ssh elsewhere (cd /storage && tar xf -) ) with it all the time -- and the requirements stated above don't seem to require a network filesystem at all.
posted by majick at 11:56 AM on November 26, 2004

majick: Fair enough in re: not needing a network filesystem of some sort. I was pretty sure, though, that tar had some sort of incremental backup and "tar up files newer than x date" options. The tar manpage is awfully inscrutable, though.

Somehow, rsync or psync never even crossed my mind. I've used tar in so many situations (even in Windows, when the utilities that came with the tape drive at my old work proved to be completely worthless) that it was the first thing I thought of.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 12:24 PM on November 26, 2004

CCC has been great for me... including the what-I-thought-was-miraculous ability to boot from the clone of a Powerbook on a G4 desktop model.
posted by Dick Paris at 1:08 PM on November 26, 2004

CCC is excellent if your goal is to make a bootable total copy of the drive; if you're just trying to back up, say, your docs folder, I would personally suggest synk. I lost a laptop hard drive this time last year, and it stung me pretty badly... I had partial backups, but not as complete as I'd have liked. Now I use synk and scheduling to run a nightly backup of my Documents folder to my ipod. Clean, easy, etc.
posted by cmyr at 2:57 PM on November 26, 2004

Synk looks interesting. I should note that I also use FoldersSynchronizer for quick daily back-ups. The interface has always struck em as odd but I've been using it for years (since OS 9 even?) and have not bothered to look elsewhere.
posted by Dick Paris at 5:07 AM on November 27, 2004

For those folks touting "Carbon Copy Cloner": You're aware it's just a front end for the ditto command built in to the OS, right?
posted by majick at 8:48 AM on November 27, 2004

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