Sunday, February 28, 2010

Backup! Backup! Restore!

I'm sure many of my fans probably think that I only use the command line.  While true that I do use command line considerably.  I also use gui tools.  As I just set up yet another virtual machine in Virtual Box, I thougth I might explain how I add the world of text to gui.

So, I've written about my gpg encrypted password file.  I leave it in my dropbox account as well as a the gnupg.vim plugin.  Of course, dropbox is primarily a gui application, which has a command line element that can be used after the gui has been launched.  So the first thing I do is set that up my password file.  Then also from dropbox I have bashrc and bash_aliases.  I soft link those to the home directory as well as the bin/ folder where I dabble in scripting.

After my last install, I started making my list of apps that I install on my Ubuntu systems knowing they are in the repos.  Basically I just cat that file and paste and wait. 

While that's going, I get the firefox up and running where I add my xmarks extension and run it.   This brings by browser up to speed more or less.  Once my chromium is installed, I just have it import the settings from firefox (google chrome the same).  Again, that's a matter of a gui application that I do rely on and use on many different systems, even cross platform.

This puts me in very familiar teritory and within a short time after a fresh install, I have my bash shell restored with my comfort zone of aliases, my browser set up with bookmarks and the odds and ends that I keep in my Dropbox.   The single behaviour modification that I keep on is making sure that anything I "might need later" I put in my dropbox or my Ubuntu One (gui).  Included in that would be the most recent .deb for skype, google chrome beta, and anything else where just having it arrive in the dropbox/Ubuntu One sync keeps me from having to hunt it down online.

This kind of file syncing actually has made system restore or first set up quite easy.  I have done this a few times and now it feels quite "normal" and I have no worries at all if any one (or truth all) of my systems were to die, I could still recover in short order.  Working directly out of my backup system/service keeps me always on the spot should anything go wrong.

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