Backups--do I have this right?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sajurcaju, May 30, 2007.

  1. sajurcaju macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #1
    I am using Superduper to back my mac pro up to an external drive.

    Given that there are several people using our machine, am I correct that there is no way to automate the backup so it runs on a schedule? From what I've read, I (or whoever starts the scheduled job) would have to be logged in for the job to run.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. Chocomonsters macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    #2
    Have you consider Dantz Retrospect? It can be automated for multiple scripts that can be set up for backup or duplication.
     
  3. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Roskilde, DK
    #3
    Using Retrospect for one computer is entirely overkill imo. We use it at my work to back up around 50 clients or so and it requires insane amuonts of maintenance everyday, not the easy automated task they announce it to be. It is extremely slow when it's working on a backup and you cannot interfer with it 50% of the runtime. Not to mention a) it requires a server besides his Mac Pro and b) it's still PowerPC based so performance will really slow down.

    What you could do however, is to make the supeduper a crontab once a week (if you know what and how to do it). With a little Applescript and shellscript, a weekly backup could be made quickly. Of course it still requires a user logged in but the crontab will execute regardless of who is logged in and how long since it's overdue (assuming you sleep your machine and not turning it off).
     
  4. sajurcaju thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #4
    What you could do however, is to make the supeduper a crontab once a week (if you know what and how to do it). With a little Applescript and shellscript, a weekly backup could be made quickly. Of course it still requires a user logged in but the crontab will execute regardless of who is logged in and how long since it's overdue (assuming you sleep your machine and not turning it off).

    Thanks, I'll give this a try. I hadn't thought about digging in from the Unix side.

    Steve
     
  5. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #5
    Maybe I don't totally appreciate your problem, but...

    Within SuperDuper you can schedule the task to run nightly, weekly, whatever. I think this probably require that user to be logged in for the job to execute. So you have two options. Leave one user log in all the time. If that user doesn't leave any applications open then the system load is quite low (assumming your not on an old G3/G4). Alternately, you could set the same task to run within each user's environment and it should then execute similarly for each user, but only for the one that is logged in. This probably requires that all users have admin accounts which may or may not be tenable for you.
     
  6. sajurcaju thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Maine
    #6
    In principle, this isn't what I'm after. Backup should just happen, regardless of who, if anyone, is logged in. The whole point, in my mind, is making it automatic regardless of circumstances. You shouldn't have to remember to not log out.

    On the other hand, my teenage daughter never seems to log out... maybe this would be workable.

    Steve
     
  7. hayduke macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #7
    There are certainly better solutions out there (psync or rsync plus a cron job), but with what you've provided I'll offer one more shot!

    You could always create a backup user. This user would always be logged in. If the user ID is below 500 (I think...) then it won't show up in the log in window either. Log into this account, set up SuperDuper, and never log out. If your machine has acceptable performance under these circumstances then it might be a (ridiculous) solution.
     
  8. mooncaine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    #8
    I think you should trust your feelings on this -- you are right that one shouldn't have to remember to do [or not do] anything in order to have an automatic backup. Else, it's not automatic.

    If you can't rest easy and forget about the backup, then you must manage it, and if you find yourself doing that, why bother with any partially automated solution? That's just more to manage and debug.

    I've been using Retrospect Express, which ships with the many FW drives I use, and although I hear it doesn't preserve all metadata, my restore tests proved to me that I could get back the things most important to me from the backup set -- everything I thought important to test worked [and I tested lots of things]. It is a set & forget system as long as the drive is big enough to handle the growing contents of the Mac I'm backing up. I let one of my machines fill up the backup drive, though, and it went a few months before I noticed it wasn't backing up any longer.

    Well, there is one thing that keeps coming up, but at least Retro tells me about it when it happens, rather than silently failing: it has a bug, they've known about for years, that makes permissions errors pop up in OSX, saying that files have the wrong permissions and need fixing, which requires a restart. It happens every 6 weeks or so, but it's intermittent. Since they don't fix it, I don't buy the full product -- would you? It's OK for the price, I think [free with a hard drive].
     

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