"Linux is a really stable and powerful operating
system, just like its Unix cousins. It is also very secure if set
up properly and maintained well. However, despite all this,
accidents do happen, whether you accidentally type "rm -R /" or
someone breaks into your machine from the internet. That's why you
need a good backup plan. If you have a cd burner and some blank
discs, then this tutorial is just for you. Do note however that a
full backup may not work well after being restored to a machine
with different hardware. If your hardware is damaged for some
reason and you are forced to buy different hardware, your system
may not run as well as it should after restoration. Chances are
that you will encounter no problems though and it can't really hurt
anything to try, so don't be afraid to try a complete restoration
even if you do have new hardware.
The frequency at which you need to backup depends on how quickly
the data on your hard drive changes and how important the data is.
Obviously if you keep important documents on your hard drive that
are worth a lot to you or your company, then you should probably
keep several sets of discs and rotate through them backing up every
day. That way if your computer had been comprimised a few days ago
but you just found out, you'll have a set of discs with an
uncompromised backup to restore. It may be a lot of work but what's
it worth to you? In my case, I have data on my computer that I
don't want to lose but it's collected over a long period of time
and doesn't change at a fast pace. Also I don't mind if I have to
redo a few things to get my computer back to where it was.
Therefore I only backup every few weeks. The choice is up to
Now there are two mediums that you can use to make backups. The
first is called cd-r. These discs can only be written to once.
They're cheap but for backup purposes, will leave you paying more
in the long run. The second medium is called cd-rw. These discs are
considerably more expensive than cd-r discs, perhaps even twice as
much. However the extra cost is well worth it. These discs can be
recorded on thousands of times. You're more likely to lose or break
the discs than have them wear out from too much recording. They
usually record a little slower too, but most people would prefer
the extra time over extra money. I went out and bought a 25 pack of
cd-rw discs and now I don't have to worry about buying anymore
until I have more data than will fit on 25 discs."