For quite some time now I’ve been taking a pretty big risk with a lot of files at home. I have a linux box that I run samaba on in order to share files with my Windows machines. These Windows machines map that share as their “S” drive. Once upon a time, this 120GB drive had a twin in the box with it and everything that was on one drive was automatically placed on the other drive (using software RAID 1). Years ago, that mirror was broken and never restored. So, all my data was setting on one hard drive (this included all of Haylee’s Pictures, a bunch of other pictures, all my MP3 files, and a few other random files). I could always dig my CD’s out and re-rip them to get the MP3 files, but Haylee’s pictures were a little harder to replace. I mitigated this risk by occasionally going in and burning these pictures to a DVD, but that required some manual work to do the backup. It also left open to loss anything that was created more recently than the last backup.
A couple months ago I moved Haylee’s picture site off the server in our spare bedroom and onto DreamHost. This helped out with the risk to Haylee’s pictures because most of them had also been uploaded to that site. But not all our pictures are uploaded to that site and it didn’t do anything for the other types of files on the S drive. To make matters worse, some of the stuff on that S drive isn’t really for public consumption. Probably the most personal thing on that drive is our Quicken backup. While it’s not the end of the world if somebody gets ahold of that, it’s still not something you generally want “out there.” So what I needed was a secure and automated way to back up all my files. I had toyed with the idea of using an old DLT drive I had laying around, but getting that to running was a lot of work and the DLT drive isn’t exactly quiet. Due to some other recent developments, we moved the computer out of its own room out into the living room. A loud tape drive really doesn’t work in that environment. So I needed something slightly different.
Enter GnuPG, DreamHost’s Personal Backup feature, and some perl scripting magic.