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How to create a Linux backup server and automatically backup your Windows XP

I’m really happy with this little setup I’ve made. I have two Windows machines, my wife and mines, and a single Ubuntu Linux server.
I wanted to somehow make sure that both my Windows XP machines have the important files and folders automatically and periodically backed up unto the Linux server.

This would make the Linux machine essentially a NAS (Network Attached Storage). Surprisingly enough there are a couple of free cool Linux distributions that can be installed on older PCs and make them fully modern NAS servers.
A few such examples are: FreeNAS, NASLite+ and Openfiler.
Using one of these distribution would have been awesome. However, the problem was that there was already a Linux OS installed and used for other purposes as well.
I had to come up with a solution that can reside alongside “normal” Ubuntu Linux.

After a little research, I’ve realized these Linux NAS schemes are really super simple.
All you have to do to is two simple things:

1. Create a Samba shared folder on the Linux server - This might have been a little complicated once, but with the modern Linux distribution, it’s a piece of cake.
Simply create a writable and readable Samba shared folder on the Linux server. There are TONS of guides and tutorials about this issue, so I’m not going to waste your times here. It should be simple enough.
Make sure that the folder itself has full read/write/execute permissions (chmod 777) , make sure that the Samba network permissions also allow full read/write, and finally don’t forget to make sure your Linux firewall, in case you’re using one, allows SMB network traffic too.

2. Install an automatic scheduled backup client on Windows - Apparently, there are a number of really good and free Windows utilities for automatic scheduled backups.
I’ve found Cobian Backup, Karen’s Replicator and SyncBack. I chose to go with Cobian Backup.
I installed it, simply selected the files and folder I wanted to backup, pointed to the destination Samba shared folder on the Linux box and choose the scheduled backup times I wanted.

It works like a charm!
Simple, easy and cool - I never worry again for sudden data lose, I always have yesterday’s work safely backed up.
every day. And 100% automatically without me needing to do anything.
Yet another great way your Linux server helps around the house! :-)

3 Responses to “How to create a Linux backup server and automatically backup your Windows XP”

  1. pianio12 Windows XP Mozilla Firefox Says:

    Would you share on why you chose to go with Cobian Backup among the three?

  2. chandan jog Mozilla Firefox 1.0.6 Says:

    hello sir,

    i am really happy to find that i got some kind of solution for my problem through ur experience.THANKS A LOT.can u PLZ tell me what can i do to backup my linix mysql database and text files on one machine onto another linux machine,both being servers.basically i want to have a backup server for my primary server, which can take over in case the primary server fails.

    actuallly i have written a server program on the primary linux server machine, to which the clients connect and it in turn makes entries in the databse and some tetx files.i want to back these changes on some another machine so that it could take over if the primaryserver fails
    without interrupting the clients.

    awaiting your response
    chandan jog

  3. freeBSDuser UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Says:

    FreeNAS is not Linux, it is based off of freeBSD a Unix derivative. Much props though for getting the word out there, it is a nice piece of software.

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