For some reason tonight, I decided to not play around with beer and mead too much. They are doing their thing quite happily. Sometimes after a rough day in the saltmines, I’ll come home and drink a beer or three. Sometimes I will sit down to geek out. Very therapeutic, me thinks. Well tonight was all about geeking out.
The first thing I set about doing was moving all of My Documents from my XP machine out to the server via SAMBA. SAMBA is a server daemon that runs on Linux boxes to allow Windows machines to share files and printers…and authentication and such stuff. I am not using SAMBA for anything but simple file sharing with my server, where all of my MP3s and movies and such live. It is just me in this apartment with a bunch of computers and a couple cats. The cats are not that into computers, but Stanley has been enjoying watching all the beer and mead bubble away. Anyway, I fixed up my SAMBA config file to include “security = user” rather than “security = share” which had set for some long forgotten reason. Since the last time I rebuilt the server, SAMBA has always been kind of slow and temperamental. Well, not anymore! It is screaming fast now! w00t! Such a simple fix!
I then had access to my home directory on the server (I did not have that before the above fix), so I right-clicked My Documents on my XP desktop and changed its location out to the server. Then I moved all the files out there. In the process, I freed up about 20GB of space. Very good! DropBox complained a little, but I killed it and then restarted it. It instantly saw its folder out on the server. Very nice.
But then it hit me. I was going to have to figure a way to back all these files up now! A few weeks back, I started hacking around with rsync as a simple backup tool from the main server to a backup machine. I made decent progress with it, but put it down when it came time to trying to figure out easily passing files over the LAN without having an NFS share mounted. Tonight I picked up where I left off and after about an hour of searching, I finally had all of my syntax and switch options picked out. I’ve recently added some new CDs to my collection, so I ripped them out to the server. They hadn’t been backed up yet, so I played around with getting them copied to the backup server. This was working fine, but I was being asked for a password, which was surely not going to work if I wanted this stuff to happen automatically…which I did.
So, after some more searching, I found that the easiest way to do this was with this guy’s tutorial. Sure, those are blank ssh keys, but I am not passing this data over the Internet, so I feel mostly safe. Hell, the backup server doesn’t even have a default route (gateway) set, so it’s travels are going no further than my local subnet.
I then set up a couple of cron jobs to first, change the owner and group of all my multimedia files to “nobody”, then backup the multimedia files and then finally all my documents. These are set to run overnight and with very few changes, should happen within seconds…the beauty of rsync.
rsync -vaurz -e “ssh -p ##” Server.IP.Add.ress:/multimedia /space/backups/server_name
rsync -vaurz -e “ssh -p ## “Server.IP.Add.ress:/home/user_name/space/backups/server_name
The next step in this process is to figure out how to do this My Documents thing with Vista (yes, I am still running Vista…it does what it needs to do) out on the home theater PC. I have another Vista partition on my workstation that will need the same treatment. After that, I want to finally tackle moving my Ubuntu /home directory out to the server, as well. Ultimately, what this will do is allow me access to the files currently trapped in all of those operating systems from any machine on my network, regardless of what operating system I happen to boot into. Very nice.
I do have one overshadowing issue that perhaps you can help me out with. It really is giving me a headache. I own two domain names: nycnyne.net and matthannan.net. nycnyne only exists out on the Internet. On my LAN, everything is matthannan. For some reason, matthannan.net is resolving to a parked DNS server. I keep trying to kill any record of it from the public Internet, but it keeps popping up. This is causing me some massive internal DNS issues! Seriously, any ideas?