Help me backup and sync my files!
November 20, 2005 9:02 PM   Subscribe

How can I backup and sync files on my mac?

I have an iBook running OSX Tiger, a 256mb thumb drive, and a bit of space on the university servers that I can FTP files to. I'd like to be able to have all the things (documents, mainly) in one folder be mirrored to the other two areas; in other words, if I make a new file in "AUT05->POLS212->Locke" on my mac, I'd like that same file to then show up on the thumb drive (when I plug it in, of course), and on the server. This doesn't need to be automatic, but it'd be nice if it could happen with the simple press of a button.

Fetch lets me sort of "mirror" the files to the server, but this doesn't solve the problem of the thumb drive. The dotmac backup and sync options look nice, but I don't need space on .mac, and I don't want to pay a hundred bucks a year for it. Can't this be had for free/cheap?
posted by rossination to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I think rsync is probably what you're looking for... but I haven't actually got it set up at my place yet, so that's about all I could tell you...
posted by pompomtom at 9:15 PM on November 20, 2005

apple's Backup program that you get with a .mac subscriptioin should do what you want... or Dantz Retrospect 6.1. both are very easy to use backup solutions.

or rsync like pompomtom suggested.
posted by hummercash at 10:17 PM on November 20, 2005

oooops, missed the last paragraph about .mac in the OP. sorry! but the Dantz solution i mentioned is just a one time fee for the program, not subscription based like .mac is.

sorry again.
posted by hummercash at 10:19 PM on November 20, 2005

beware, though, you want rsyncX. "plain" rsync probably can not handle resource forks. although they are depreciated in osX some programs still use them.
posted by joeblough at 10:19 PM on November 20, 2005

"plain" rsync probably can not handle resource forks

rsync via command line does indeed handle resource forks, you just need to include the correct option. From the man pages:

-E --extended-attributes copy extended attributes, resource forks

However, I also recommend using RsyncX. It rocks.
posted by inviolable at 10:49 PM on November 20, 2005

I said this somewhere else in the green before. LaCie's SilverKeeper works great for me. And it's free.
posted by anarcation at 12:29 AM on November 21, 2005

I'll third rsyncX (which is also free, and you don't need to buy a LaCie drive to get it). Apple's Backup is not that reliable, and Retrospect is my least favorite program ever.
posted by sluggo at 4:15 AM on November 21, 2005

First, you should avoid You should avoid .mac Backup service like the plague. Second, Rsynch is your best bet. Here is how you can use it. Mezzoblue wrote a backing up a web-server, but the information is useful as well.

You can probably use AppleScript to detect when the thumdrive is mounted, and then run rynch when this event occurs.
posted by chunking express at 7:38 AM on November 21, 2005

I use Deja Vu to do this. It's fairly inexpensive and has a nice interface.
posted by sad_otter at 7:47 AM on November 21, 2005

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