Backup considerations for Linux

Backup considerations for Linux that don’t fit anywhere else.

I try to document the files that should be excluded from backup sets, organized by the application or other software that creates it. Here I list those files that I exclude from my backup sets that don’t neatly fit in any other article. Some of these files are present on a standard Linux system. In other cases I am unsure what software creates them, so I don’t know where else to post this information.

Some of the directories and files on a Linux box don’t need to be backed up. You will probably want to exclude:

  • ~/.cache/ TODO: Discover what creates this.
  • ~/.thumbnails/ TODO: Discover what creates this.
  • ~/tmp/
  • .directory TODO: Discover what creates these. I see them in userspace when Xfce is used. My guess is that they are part of the freedesktop.org standards and conforming desktop environments create them.

If you use a sync-based backup, you will probably also want to exclude these files. They are not themselves so large, but being often-changing, their many historical versions could overrun your storage space:

  • ~/.bash_history
  • ~/.ICEauthority
  • ~/.lesshst
  • ~/.recently-used.xbel
  • ~/.serverauth.* (more information)
  • ~/.Xauthority.*
  • ~/.xauth*
  • ~/.xsession-errors*
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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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