Alex Schroeder 🐝 is a user on octodon.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

What is a good Obnam replacement? Borg Backup, Bup, Duplicity, or something else?

@kensanata Nice! Thank you, Alex!

Bup uses the git packfile format. Would you consider that a good thing?

@sajith I don't care about the file format used per se. I still feel that a backup solution should be very robust and that robustness should be more important than deduplication and all that, and that's why I really liked my old rsync based backup. But setting it all up to have multiple linked snapshots would have been hard, too.

@kensanata Yes, robustness should be the first thing!

You've mentioned that you don't like Borg Backup's opaque file format, which is why I asked. I don't know if it would be important or useful for me. I just need to make sure that I have a better backup plan besides Obnam, as my SSD is showing signs of corruption.

@sajith You mentioned git pack format. I think that where as it is not opaque it still is less robust than real files, so not much is gained?

@kensanata I plead ignorance! I know nothing about git packfile format or its reliability.

@sajith My measure of robustness is perhaps colored by the occurrence of bad sectors in the old days of floppy disks. Thus, a format is robust if I can still read the rest using a tool. That disqualifies compressed data, encrypted data, or anything else that results in a dependency on bytes in the damaged sectors (virtual file systems and the like). Basically, anything but plain text. 🧐

@sajith In my situation, I decided I valued encryption more than robustness because I am keeping external disks outside our home. Given that this already results in an opaque byte soup, I decided I might as well use any other format (Borg Backup format, git pack, whatever). That’s for making backups of my laptops to keep them outside our home.

@sajith On the other hand, when making backups of my servers to my laptop, the situation is different: encryption is not essential, and plaintext is robust, and that’s why I use rsync.
I guess I finally thought it through myself. Phew! πŸ˜…

@kensanata That sounds sensible!

I'm beginning to wonder if SSDs are that different from floppies.

A server stopped booting because contents of the boot partition (on an SSD!) had disappeared.

The other day "grep" stopped working on my laptop because the binary had somehow become corrupt; reinstalling grep made things work. And there was unremovable empty files with jumbled strange names in my home directory; a reboot fixed that, for now.

I'm more worried now.

@sajith new drive, now! ⚑️πŸ’₯πŸ”₯

@kensanata I will!

But now is the analysis paralysis time: should I get another SSD or a spinning disk? Seagate or Hitachi or WD or ...

@sajith Both our laptops now have the SSD Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB, if I remember correctly.

@kensanata I too have some kind of Samsung EVO 1TB.

Perhaps the Samsung EVO PRO models will be worth the extra money in terms of reliability?

@kensanata Umm they're just PRO, not EVO PRO.

I am not at all up to date with this.