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Is backup a realistic usage of subversion

From: Jan Erik Moström <lists_at_mostrom.pp.se>
Date: 2006-10-25 22:57:41 CEST

I would appreciate if someone can comment on my ideas.

My problem is that I want to backup my Mac ... and also have my
data easy accessible on my other machines (primarily Mac but
also Linux). I currently have a solution that makes disk images
of selected folders using a cron script, these are then sent to
a Linux server where they are saved. These files are then
backuped using other programs but this is outside the scope of
the question.

There are two problems with this solution:

+ I don't do incremental backups which mean that the disk
images become
     quite large and takes a lot of disk space

+ It doesn't make my data easy accessible on other computer

I've been thinking of different solution and keep coming back to
a subversion based solution, that is I put a directory under
subversions control and put everything I want to backup and
share inside that folder. Then I make some kind of script that
to commits on a regular basis so I don't have to remember to do it.

While I've been using subversion for 1-2 years (source code,
research stuff, etc) I have never done anything like this and I
don't know if this is a good idea or not, so my questions are:

+ Is this a viable solution?

+ If I want to add photos, music, etc (large binary files)
does subversion
     handle this gracefully?

+ Is it possible to script subversion to automatically add new files/folders
     so I don't have to remember to do it.

+ What is the best way to backup a repository like this (I'm
going to
     be the only user for this repository and I will be running
it on my
     own linux servers)?

     My current way of backing up my repositories is to have a
small post-commit
     script that creates a flag file when a repository is
changed. Then I have
     a cron script that check if this flag exists and if so it
does a dump
     of the whole repositoty, I then keep the last 5 dumps. This
works well for
     the small repositories I currently have but if I do
something like what I
     describe above we're talking GBs of data ... so this would
probably be
     a bad solution.

I'm pretty sure that the answers of some of these questions are
pretty basic but I would still appreciate comments if this is a
good solution for my problem or if I'm trying to use subversion
in a way it wasn't really designed for.


(and yes, I'm too well aware of the "bundle problem" for certain
types of documents but I think I can handle those problem)

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Received on Wed Oct 25 22:59:34 2006

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