Backing Up via Rsync

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Revision as of 17:11, 21 July 2009 by Hopspitfire (talk | contribs)
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The rsync remote-update protocol allows rsync to transfer just the differences between two sets of files across the network link, using an efficient checksum-search algorithm.

Some of the additional features of rsync are:

  • support for copying links, devices, owners, groups and permissions
  • exclude and exclude-from options similar to GNU tar
  • a CVS exclude mode for ignoring the same files that CVS would ignore
  • can use any transparent remote shell, including rsh or ssh
  • does not require root privileges
  • pipelining of file transfers to minimize latency costs
  • support for anonymous or authenticated rsync servers (ideal for mirroring)

Background & Purpose

Using rsync as a means to make full backups of the Pre, both for disaster recovery and convenience. I have been using Rsync as a means to backup all my Gentoo and FreeBSD servers, and even a 4TB volume on our NetApp. I was able to restore every system simply by using rsync to push the files to a new disk. Using a special string of commands, rsync backups are nearly as depth-oriented as 'dd', while still being much more convenient.


  • 1 Linux-based computer (with access to the same WIFI/usbnet subnet as the Pre)
  • On your Palm Pre, you need to have access to linux and have completed the next steps after accessing linux.

The rsync binary is part of Palm's original package, so it is possible to make a wrap-around gui-based ipk for users who do not want access to linux.



Out of respect for Sprint, I will only document how to use rsync via WIFI/usbnet. I strongly disadvise against using rsync over EVDO (even through SSH). It is bandwidth intensive and we don't want Sprint complaining to Palm.

Setting up the Pre

1. Access your Pre via WIFI or usbnet.