A few weeks ago I outlined my Ubuntu backup hell, after which plenty of good advice poured in from readers as well as a few friends familar with the Way of the Penguin, such as Cybersource's Con Zymaris. Combining all their advice with a mountain of Google searches, I managed to find a solution.
About now I should point out that changing my NTFS data partition to FAT32 was a big mistake. I'd used GParted to create an 80GB FAT32 drive, but XP wasn't very happy about it and the system had become very unstable. What I didn't know is that NTFS compatibility is now built into Ubuntu, but it doesn't seem to work by default. When I first installed Feisty Fawn a few weeks ago, it mounted the NTFS data partition as read-only so I assumed I had no choice but to convert it to FAT32. The solution, at least under Gutsy Gibbon, is to mount the NTFS partition in the fstab file like this;
/dev/sda5 /windows/data ntfs-3g defaults,rw,umask=000 0 0
Using "ntfs-3g" rather than "vfat" did the trick.
Now I was trying to copy files from my NTFS data partition to an SD card in a SanDisk 6-in-1 PC Card Adapter, stuck in the PCMCIA slot of my ThinkPad T60. Sadly, that is still a pipe dream because Ubuntu only seems to recognise the reader on every third or fourth boot.
Putting my PCMCIA card woes to one side, I decided a temporary solution was to backup to a FAT32 partition on my Maxtor Shared Storage network drive instead. Frustratingly, no matter what approach I took, I was constantly denied the right to create new files.
A few people suggested running a Linux server instead, or buying a network NFS-compatible drive, but I perservered, because a) I was trying to keep things simple and b) I shouldn't have to spend more money to make it work.
After trying quite a few Linux backup applications, I decided rsnapshot offered the flexibility I was looking for but I just couldn't get it to work. I'm no expert, I think we've established that, but I was sure I was doing everything right. After a bit of digging I discovered FAT32 partitions can't handle the hard links that rsnapshot requires. This dependence on hard links also crossed a lot of other Linux backup apps off my list.
I decided to keep things simple and use the cp command, which meant embracing the command line and learning how to write basic scripts - an adventure in itself which is a post for another day. When not even cp would work it was time to face up to my real problem; permissions - something one doesn't have to worry about too much in Windows world. CONTINUED