Speaking of backups

October 26, 2007 at 3:18 pm | Posted in KDevelop | 5 Comments

I decided to setup dovecot on my local boxes to easily share them between mutt and KMail (need mutt for remote access), which meant to rename all maildirs in $HOME/.Mail into .<box> to make it possible to see them over imap – what a broken convention šŸ˜¦

Unfortunately I didn’t pay too close attention to the renaming command and did something like

find -type d | xargs mv $i .$i

so I lost all mail šŸ˜¦

Backup to the rescue, I though – yeah doing that every week. Then the horror scenario: The backup disc ran out of space last time I did a back in August – AAAAAH šŸ˜¦

So any mail I received between august and today is lost, including some pretty important private stuff. Lesson learned, am already repartitioning the backup pc so the backup disc has more space.


  1. I highly recommend Backup & Recovery from O’Reilly. The author has been in the backup business for a long time, and emphasizes that backups are not what people care about–people care about being able to recover. Since it sounds like you’ve already been bitten by the backup bug, this book should have a lot of good advice on implementation.

  2. I could never motivate myself to create a backup routine.

    The solution (to mail backup) is simple though; use IMAP and let your provider handle the backups šŸ™‚

  3. @Tom: My backup&recovery strategy is quite ok. Recovering the backup I have was dead-easy (scp -r oldstuff laptop:Mail/). But no backup/restore strategy can help you if you don’t pay attention to the amount of disk space that you have for it.

    As far as IMAP+provider goes, I’m not sure my provider provides IMAP and I have a limited size on my mailbox at my provider plus there’s no way to setup filtering for that.

  4. The author of the book specifically covers cases like that and points out that backups should let you know if anything unexpected happens. I brought it up because he mentions at least one time where he was in your shoes (needed to restore and found out that the backups had been failing for quite some time).

  5. Well, the backup probably told me back in August, but unfortunately I seldomly read logs. Also I already knew that the disk was full and the plan was to do a new backup tonight, after getting some space onto the backup drive. So it is rather my own fault.

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