SuperDuper!

April 09, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, after failing to find a good backup solution for Mac OS X that supported versioning (i.e., some type of incremental backup), encryption, and the ability to backup over the Internet (through SFTP, SSH, etc.),1 I opted to take a different approach, at least in the interim.

I found quite a few programs that could do two of the three things listed above, but it seemed only one, Amanda, could do all three. The problem with Amanda though, is that running it on Mac OS X looks to be a bit shakier than I would like and probably more work than it's worth. Though it's likely something I'll setup in the future when I have more time to fart around with it, right now I don't want to have to think about my data.

Enter SuperDuper! Stupid name, great software.

I still haven't picked up a 1TB+ datastore (as it stands I'm pretty set on the Infrant ReadyNas NV, a device that came out just recently) and probably won't until I feel that their prices are commensurate with the insanely low cost of storage right now.

That said, I ended up purchasing an external 250GB USB 2.02 drive, partitioned and formatted it using Apple's Disk Utility (100GB to mirror my notebook and the rest to play around with), bought SuperDuper!, setup a daily schedule to "smart"-mirror my notebook to the "backup" partition, and that was that. Done. I haven't touched it since, save a couple of times just to make sure that it was firing up as scheduled.

Because I'm doing this locally and not shooting my bits into the ether, the fact that SuperDuper! doesn't support any type of encryption is really a moot point, at least for the time being.


  1. As I've talked about here many times before, I backup all of my really important stuff on various shell servers and local media using a combination of shell scripts, rsync, and cron, but now that Dreamhost gives me 80GB(!) of storage, I wouldn't mind mirroring (for the most part) my main machine there.   

  2. SuperDuper! can make the drive bootable, but unfortunately, PowerPC-based notebooks can't boot from USB 2.0 devices. However, Intel-based Macs do support this feature and as soon as Apple fixes their myriad problems, I'll be first in line to buy one.   

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