Thursday, 3 May 2007

Local backups

The motto of a good sys admin is backup often, and backup automatically, and make sure you can recover from a disaster. In general, my practices have been sorely lacking. No copies, no RAID, no external backup other then a couple random backups and dumping the databases (from MySQL) and the directory (from OpenLDAP).

I finally just went with one of the many rsync backup script/utilties: rsnapshot. There is a article about it on It's simple, supports remote backups using rsync over SSH, and gives you nice rotated backups. Easy, effective, automated. What more do you want?

So now the one thing I have still to do is do an external backup. The current backup is ~17GB. As much as I'd like to burn about two dozen CDs (or even 5 DVDs) with a spanned tarball, that sounds like a pain in the ass. I guess that means an external drive which I take off-site. Ah well, a problem to solve another day.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

APT repository by SSH

So while on the site today I noticed an article about Restricting access to your private Debian repository where amongst other gems, they mention that you can use "ssh://" URIs in your sources.list file. Pretty nice, yes?

Well on top of that, mixed in with the comments, someone points out there's a helper utility called ssh-copy-id which copies your SSH public key(s) to a specified machine. It takes care of appending your key to the existing authorized_keys file and fixing file permissions on .ssh and the authorized_keys file.

As Borat says: "Verry nasse!"

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