backups and syncs

Latest response

Hello Red Team all here.

My OS is RHEL 8.1. in AMD based laptop.

My goal is now manage backups system config and etc for future purpose if something breaks from me as i have less experience on it. and also sync a files / personal materials daily or once a week in a storage or external hdd or cloud and etc. also be possible if i will make changes in a file it automatically been synced that. changes which i made.

i searched in google and found about rsync but it sync in remote PC only as if i heard correctly.

i have attached second 500 gb hdd attached to laptop.

any suggestions would be appreciated.



Hi David,

  • rsync when it is ran the first time will carry all the data over and it may take a while depending on the amount of data. The next instance of running rsync ought to go cleaner if ran again directly after a successful run.
  • The systems rsync can sync to generally need to be Linux or UNIX based. However, if you are going to send this to non-linux, non-UNIX storage, I'd recommend it be something you can mount somehow locally if you can not use ssh (rsync essentially uses ssh if you go to another host as the target).
  • If you run rsync and it completes, and then run it 24 hours later, it ought to only copy over the changes you made in the last 24 hours since the last rsync depending on your method of using rsync.
  • IMPORTANT: never rsync an active running database (google that). There are special considerations for making a copy of a database.
  • The command rsync is amazing when used properly. I've included some examples, but check other uses of rsync from google searches as well.
  • You could use rsync to send a directory structure such as this where "/home/droadway/importantproject" is local, and "/external4tbdrive/" is an external drive mounted on a mountpoint named "/external4tbdrive/".
  • NOTE: your Linux system may automatically mount your drive under /mnt/media/droadway/LONG-UUID-GOES-HERE
    • If your drive automatically mounts, use that location as the target to rsync to.
echo only do this if the drive is not already automatically mounted, use the df command to see if it automatically mounts.
mount /dev/sdb1 /external4tbdrive #assuming this command works
/external4tbdrive is a mountpoint 
  • The rsync command has the source you are synchronizing from at left, and the target at right. The ending slash "/" is important. The directory "importantproject1" will be sent over as that directory to /external4tbdrive
  • Make necessary changes if your drive automatically mounts at /run/media/droadway/LONG-UUID-GOES-HERE
  • The path might be slightly different than above. Use df -hT and lspci to view your partitions after connecting your USB drive.

  • Important - validate your source and target. The below is just an example. I have no idea what your userid is.

rsync -au --progress /home/droadway/importantproject1  /external4tbdrive/

This example would rsync your directory "importantproject1" to the mounted drive at /external4tbdrive/

If you had a drive at a remote location, first test ssh and use an ssh key to make life easier before doing your rsync. also talk with the admin who controls that remote system first. Validate ssh works with the ssh key first. After that, the syntax would be something like:

rsync -au --progress  /home/droadway/importantproject1  cloudserv1:/data/storage/you/have/permission/to/

"cloudserv1" is of course fictional. Either use a valid ip address or hostname you have access to. Again, test to make sure you can ssh to the system successfully with an ssh key prior. Make the ssh key something that expires at a sane timeframe (talk with the system admin who controls that system for their policy).


Hi RJ Hinton, Thanks for such perfect explanations in details.

If i connect my external HDD and will it be mounted automatically right? If not have to mount it right? If i want sync something have to mount it at first? is i understand right?

What about backups entire machine?

I checked that article on RH documentations.

But i am confused in some steps there:

what is that:

  1. Stop the RHN Satellite server using the stop command.
  2. Switch to the Oracle user, and create the backup using the db-control utility.

what is Oracle user? what it means?

as it is recommended here: ,,The most comprehensive backup method is to back up the entire machine. This method saves time in downloading and re-installing, but also requires additional storage and time to perform the backup."

i want back up entire machine.

Thanks in advanced.

Hi David,

To backup the entire machine, I recommend to use Clonezilla ... I'm using it since years and it never let me down. :)



Give good consideration to Christian's recommendation for home drive backup.

I see your link in your reply above, do you have or use Red Hat Satellite? Are you attempting to perform a database backup? Are you really using an older version of Red Hat Satellite? From your original post etc, I had thought you were doing this against data in your own home directory. If you are actually attempting to back up a Red Hat satellite with an Oracle database, that is another matter.

Red Hat Satellite version 5 and the version in your link, version 5.4 is tremendously old. If you have a Red Hat Satellite 5.4 server, please build a new satellite at the current supported version. If your satellite server is really at version 5.x, your infrastructure Linux servers is probably in need of upgrading. I recommend upgrading your Linux servers and Red Hat satellite. The importance of upgrades with older operating systems can't be understated, and I'm sparing the usual security impact which is significant.


Hi RJ,

Cannot agree more with what you say about using outdated editions, but I think David just accidentally stumbled
upon the documentation article he mentioned and as he asked about RHEL 8, I assume he doesn't have Satellite
installed. It would be a good idea if David could clarify what exactly he means ... can you do this please, David ? :)


Thanks Christian

David - backing up an entire machine often is overkill. However, a total machine backup is superior to no backup.

If you have actually backed up your data on your workstation, you can reload it and do a restore. One of my Linux systems has a second drive where I keep the data i care about. If my Linux workstation develops an issue, I can reload my system rapidly, reattach my second drive, and I'm back in operation after I reattach and remount my second drive. In the case of a laptop, you could do something similar, but you'd probably want to have one external drive to keep your data.

Now if the system is an actual server, the backup method will differ. Example, a web server ought to at minimum have it's data it is hosting backed up in case it has to be reloaded. It helps if you backup the configurations for your server as well. If you need to rebuild a given webserver, you can then restore the data and configurations or even make a kickstart that will place your configurations at build in the proper places (this takes some work).

Anyway, again - a total backup of a system is better than none, even if it is overkill. Now just because you happen to have made a total backup of a system, a backup is useless if you do not have the means to perform a valid restore.

Examine Christian's tips as well... Regards

Hi RJ,

Once again very useful instructions from your side ... thank you ! :)


Hi dear RJ Hinton, Christian Labisch. At first sorry for late responses from me, because i had hole day problem accessing here. I was unable to access from Mozila on Windows. I reset pass of that account but same issue. after i tried to access from google chrome and done. I do not understand what weird was that.

My OS is not Satellite. it's rhel 8.1. My personal data have on my external HDD and also on cloud some of them.

I would back up only system after i will configure system. my i want it because if system will break one by my less experience , i would like to be able restore from backups.

So what is your recommendations?

so also is important sync data on Linux?

Thanks in advanced.

Hi David,

Thanks for the clarification. Just read our responses ... everything has been said.
I recommend to use clonezilla for system backups and rsync for data backups. :)


Hello guys thanks for your responses again. i yesterday managed epel and rpmfusion configs successfully.

after i will try rsync and clonezilaa too.

Thanks for your kindness.

You're welcome, David ! Glad you appreciate our assistance. :)