Sunday, 8 December 2013

raspberry pi as a backup machine

Various things recently (not least cryptolocker and a *much* faster internet connection with an upgrade to ftc) made me start thinking about getting better organised at backups. I currently have around 2Tb of photos (on windows), lots of music (mostly recoverable from CDs) on linux and random other stuff.

With Raspberry pi idling at around 2 watts, using a huge disc on a headless pi as a backup point for the whole house seems an attractive option, and could act as a staging point for offsite backup as well (I've now got >10Mb upload speed, so trickling up at say 5Mb would get through a lot of data in a day).

After a bit of digging around, CrashPlan looks like the best option, so below are notes on first steps to getting CrashPlan going.

(note I am continuing to use CrashPlan, but running on an x86 box, rather than pi - see this post for explanation)

I am still at the proving stage for now, but as I had a 'spare' rpi, the opportunity was there. I set up the rpi with standard raspbian, and organised to run in headless mode as I did for homehab at the bottom of this post. Use that post to install java 8 as well - it's about 25% faster than the standard version (java 7).

Then I checked I could access a proper disc through the usb port. I setup an old 500Mb 2.5" disc in a baby enclosure and connected it with a cable that has a separate power connector, and formatted it ext4. All works fine so far

Ideally I want to spin down the disc when idle, as the spinning disc (especially when I start using a big 3.25" disc) will be using far more power than rpi, but seems like the power control parts of sata are not supported through usb.

So this first stage is about getting CrashPlan setup and running a few tests.

I used this guide to get CrashPlan running on rpi with a spare 500Mb disc. (mount the disc and setup an initial folder to use)

Now use the guide here to switch over a 'proper' pc so the client can manage the rpi, using the CrashPlan app, connected to the rpi:
  1. goto 'Destinations' in left sidebar
  2. Select 'Computers'  tab (at top) - should show "raspberrypi(this one)" in the list of computers (or whatever computer name you gave your rpi)
  3. goto 'Settings' in the left sidebar and in the 'General' tab opposite 'Inbound backup from other computers', click 'Configure'
  4. Change the 'Default backup archive location' to your mounted usb disk
  5. Close the CrashPlan client and remove the frigs used to connect the client to rpi
now use the CrashPlan client app to setup a backup in the usual way.

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