Offsite backup via Gmail

Ever since I accidentally deleted my old weblog database I have been looking at ways to back up my system. The first thing that I did was get some software to backup my databases. I used the Automatic MySQL Backup script, it does a daily backup of all of my databases. It then rotates them on a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. But this begs the question, what happens if my local box dies (given that it is any old laptop that is not entirely out of the question.)

One idea is to use the free 1 GB of space that Gmail offers. Richard Jones, took this idea and developed GmailFS. “GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium. ” After updating my server, compiling the software, and a reboot (updated kernel), I was now able to mount my Gmail account as a file system and copy data over. It worked really well. The only problem that I can see is that if you need to recover the files, you must have the software installed. Even though you can see the emails and recover the attachments, you would not know their names or where they go.

I found another script that will backup up your data (tar and gzip) and then email that file to any account you desire. I tried it out and it works, the problem is that if I use Gmail, it has a 10 MB limit. So if the file is too big it won’t go. If this script could split the email into smaller chunks that would be great.

So I am still on the hunt for the “perfect” solution, but these two scripts should definitely help keep my data safer.

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2 Comments

  1. Kurt

     /  October 12, 2004

    (Mail is genuine)
    Hi i just noticed your page while googling for gmailfs and encfs.

    The part you said about 10Mb limit doesnt seem to be correct.
    Just tried uploading and downloading a tarball of the mysql source and it downloaded with the correct md5sum..

    Look carefully ( the myfiles folder is a folder inside my gmail storage mount )
    The attachment i uploaded was around 16MB (mysql).

    maniac myfiles # cp -g mysql-standard-4.0.21-pc-linux-i686.tar.gz /usr/src
    mysql-standard-4.0.21-pc-linux-i686.tar.gz | 63% |  15 MiB | 1201 KiB/s | ETA 00:00.04

    Have a nice day m8,
    would appreciate feedback

  2. The 10MB attachment limit that I was referring to was in the ability to send an email into gmail, not within GmailFS. Any incoming emails over 10MB will be rejected, but the GmailFS interface does allow for files larger than 10 MB.

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