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I've just bought a clutch of external drives to start a rotating backup of my photography work, and wonder if I should just do a straight copy the first time around, or if rsync would be the better option?

I will then use rsync to update the backup with new and modified files.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I will use rsync. I think it fits better for your requirements.

IMHO, the first backup (and also the next) must be an exactly copy of what you already has, and rsync is the best thing I now can help you with this.

My advice: go ahead with rsync, and set up some incremental update for later :-)

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I also say use rsync. Run you backup, then change something, and run again. Verify your backup. Instead of using the cp method, and then switching to rsync. –  becomingwisest Mar 1 '11 at 3:59

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