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I'm having trouble planning how I should store and access my files! I need a good way to ensure that I always have backups (which are browseable) and access to my files from different computers.

My network looks like this...


On my local file server I have


Storage is a 2TB internal hard disk. I also have


Which is a 2TB external hard disk that I've planned to be a mirror for the internal hard disk so that I always have a backup if one of the hard disk fails.

Is it stupid to use a mirror instead of incremental backups? I mean, what will happen if something gets corrupt? Is there a better alternative than rsync to use for mirroring?


I was planning to access these files through Samba on both my Ubuntu laptop and my Windows Desktop. Preferably I want to have /mnt/storage/home/niklas mounted on my local home folder but I don't know if that is possible or if it is very wise? What will happen if I don't have connection to the server?

The desktop with Windows installed will also dual-boot Ubuntu Studio and there I was planning on having my work files locally for maximum performance and at every shutdown sync them to the fileserver.

I'm worried that I'll have trouble browsing and working with photographs from my laptop when I always have to load them from the server. My wireless network uses the n protocol so I think it'll be fast enough. What do you think?

Would this be a good set up? Please come with tips and suggestions on things to improve.

Can I utilize technologies like Sparkleshare to get a better set up?

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It seems best to me to have a folder within my home folder on my ubuntu laptop that mounts the network share. Or have it mounted under /mnt and have a symlink pointing to it. Suggestions? – Niklas Jan 17 '12 at 11:58
This question may be a better fit elsewhere, try our friends at Unix and Linux Stack Exchange. Regards, – Ringtail Apr 5 '12 at 8:34

your post contains several question. About backups: Have you tried "deja dup"? It uses duplicity (command line) which uses the rsync library.

If you want to mount the files on linux clients, you can use NFS. But this means you must be conected to the server.

If you mostly work on your local client hard disc, and you only want to sync with the server sometimes, you can use unison. It can handle changes on both sides (client and server) except one file gets changed on both sides.

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I wanted my backups to be browseable so that excludes deja dup. I'm going to mount the Samba share with cifs or smbfs since I find that easier than NFS. – Niklas Jan 17 '12 at 11:52
The real problem lies within that I want to keep it constantly in sync and as far as I know unison requires user input or it might overwrite things that shouldn't be overwritten. That's why Sparkleshare is intriguing, it uses a version control system to ensure that all is done correctly. – Niklas Jan 17 '12 at 11:55
You can run unison from a cronjob. But this needs password-less ssh connection. Normaly it does not overwrite things. But unison is no backup solution: If you delete file "important.txt" on one side, at the next sync this file will be removed on the other side. Some people set up git to for their home directory. That's what SparkleShare does under the hood. – guettli Jan 17 '12 at 15:25

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