Automatic backups to external media

Safe House

Article from Issue 227/2019
Author(s):

A recent backup is more reliable than any kind of data rescue. But for many users, a backup won't happen unless the process is easy to manage.

The simplest form of backup is to copy the data to a mobile device, such as a USB stick or an external USB hard drive. You can perform this kind of backup either with the file manager or with a copy command like:

cp -a source_directory target_directory

This command uses the archive option -a to recursively copy the files, and it also includes the file permissions. If the target directory does not exist, the command creates it as a copy of the source and its contents. If, on the other hand, it already exists, it will contain a subdirectory named source_directory after the copy operation.

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