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I've got to backup data (around 100GB) on a linux system on a daily basis.

I need daily incremental and regular full backups on an 2TB USB drive that is NTFS formatted (no way to change that). If I recall correctly NTFS is limited to a few hardlinks, so this won't make incremental backups easier with tools that are based on rsync I think ...

How can I achieve reliable automated full and incremental backups with the target being that NTFS formatted disk?

  • Funny to see that this is considered off topic while there are many questions simply asking which backup software to use that have not been closed. I can understand that the off-topic rule is there to prevent advertising spam and answers like "use xyz". Nevertheless it's a waste of knowledge if ppl. can't share recommendations. But hey, let's try something - dead, simple and stupid (see edit) – Tsolen Feb 27 '15 at 23:11
  • It seems odd that you need to ask this question if there are so many other questions asking the same thing. – user9517 Feb 27 '15 at 23:28
  • Do you actually need to be able to read the backups when mounting this under Windows? I get that you don't want to change the NTFS format for some reason, but have you thought about simply creating a virtual filesystem on the NTFS volume? Then using that virtual filesystem as your target for backups? That way you can format it as ext4 or something else that you can use standard tools with. – Zoredache Feb 27 '15 at 23:55
  • @Iain I wouldn't ask this here if I had found a useful suggestion in those topics ;) Zoredache: We don't need Windows mounting here. Good point! Nevertheless I think a file container might affect the overall reliability. – Tsolen Feb 28 '15 at 0:36
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Well you have the issue that NTFS will DESTROY your file permissions and may not be even capable of backing everything up.

you could use FUSE to create a filesystem on the NTFS drive that will simply be a 'single file' which would allow you to maintain permissions.

Otherwise your best bet (unfortunately) would be to use tar/gzip in a 'round robin' fashion and automate this from CRON (and then unfortunately your backup will no longer bee incremental unless we start to get creative (write a script that uses 'find' with the '-newermt' argument and tar those files only. ) The backup will not be able to flag 'deleted' files as being deleted when doing a restore. but it will be atleast something.

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