Poppins

My friend and fellow Linux Journalian Kris Occhipinti recently posted a reminder on Facebook for everyone to back up regularly in 2016. Although it's something we already should be doing, if you're not a regular backer-upper, you should start today! The method of backup isn't nearly as important as the act itself, but this month, I found a new project that simplifies the backup process nicely.

Poppins is an open-source project that builds on the SSH and rsync programs to create an incremental backup system that is simple, fast and reliable. Tons of other backup programs are available, but Poppins doesn't try to be a full-blown system; rather, it's a simple one-liner that will do file rotation, snapshots and more. It can be automated with cron, or you can run it manually from the command line. (But you should really, really make a cron job!)

Other backup systems have more robust interfaces, restoration options and so on, but the beauty of Poppins is its simplicity. It's just one step above manually running rsync yourself, but that one step means it's simpler to do. In my world, simple is about the only way to make sure something gets done at all!

In fact, even though it's a new project and still in beta, Poppins gets this month's Editors' Choice award. It's simple enough that you might actually get around to using it, and it has enough features to really benefit you in the case of a catastrophic failure. Check it out today at http://poppinsbackups.wordpress.com, or go right to the Bitbucket page: http://bitbucket.org/poppins.

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Shawn Powers is a Linux Journal Associate Editor. You might find him on IRC, Twitter, or training IT pros at CBT Nuggets.