Backup of David's Livejournal

Using Dreamhost personal backup from a Windows Computer

Dreamhost offers a personal backup service.  Here are some notes on what I did to get it working from my Microsoft Windows Vista system.

Install All Required Cygwin Modules

First, I installed any missing required modules for cygwin, which I already had installed.  At first, I had trouble with ssh, because it complained it couldn't find cygssp-0.  Using cygcheck confirmed the missing library.

~$ cygcheck ssh
Found: C:\cygwin\bin\ssh.exe
Found: C:\cygwin\bin\ssh.exe
Found: C:\cygwin\bin\ssh.exe
cygcheck: track_down: could not find cygssp-0.dll
Once I installed libsso0, rsync was working correctly, but required a password to be entered.

Setup Passwordless Login

Setting up passwordless login was really easy. In an sftp connection, I made a .ssh directory from my home backup server's directory, copied my cygwin's .ssh/ to the new .ssh directory and renamed the file to authorized_keys.

Determining Directories and Files to Copy

I made an exclusion list of files not to backup and named that file excl.txt. Here's what the file contains:

Then I made a shell script called,, to backup only certain directories:

rsync -e ssh -avz --exclude-from=excl.txt /cygdrive/c/Users/David/Documents
rsync -e ssh -avz --exclude-from=excl.txt /cygdrive/c/Users/David/Downloads
rsync -e ssh -avz --exclude-from=excl.txt /cygdrive/c/Users/David/Pictures
rsync -e ssh -avz --exclude-from=excl.txt /cygdrive/c/Users/David/Music
rsync -e ssh -avz --exclude-from=excl.txt --exclude=Pinnacle/ /cygdrive/c/Users/Public/Documents
Note that occasionally I have to exclude some directories that contain massive amounts of video or temporary files. I can't copy my pictures and videos without taking up more than the free 50GB space allocated for backups.

Making Automatic Backups

I ran the shell script from within cygwin, and it worked. But now, how to make Vista run it? I created a DOS Batch script called, backup_to_dreamhost.bat. It contains only one line:

C: && chdir C:\cygwin\bin && bash --login ~/
And from the Windows Task Scheduler, I created a recurring task that runs backup_to_dreamhost.bat.
Tags: code, solved, web


 melba272010 on Sep 19th 2010 at 7:07 PM

 sjonsvenson on Sep 20th 2010 at 8:33 PM
Maybe I should move one of my domains to dreamhost. ^_^ BTW what about the speed?

 dblume on Sep 20th 2010 at 9:41 PM
Dreamhost's servers are located in Los Angeles, CA, USA, so speed to my personal PC is pretty fast. But speed for backup isn't that important, right? The first backup is huge and slow. And all the subsequent rsync backups only send the files that've changed, so that'll go much more quickly, and I've set those to run at a time when nobody will want to be on the computer.

 tpederson on Sep 21st 2010 at 12:41 AM
Looks like a nice setup but do the upload times kill you? I tried Mozy a while back and syncing was unworkable with my paltry upload speed.

 dblume on Sep 21st 2010 at 4:14 AM
The first upload of everything took a few hours. I've set the recurring sync to 2:00pm on certain weekdays. Those incremental syncs only take a few minutes. (Note that I also compress the data along the line, it's in the rsync flags.)