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I've converted an old clunker HP Pentium III computer into my juke box hooked up to my home entertainment center. I put Ubuntu 7.10 and Amarok on it, and it's ...
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  1. #1
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    seeking a "Second Copy" type of program


    I've converted an old clunker HP Pentium III computer into my juke box hooked up to my home entertainment center. I put Ubuntu 7.10 and Amarok on it, and it's working great despite what an old machine that is. My original plan was to make that my only use of Linux.

    However, when I saw how terrific an OS Ubuntu is, I decided to expand my use of it. I ordered off for a debranded “No OS” HP, an Athlon 64 3800 with a gig of RAM and a 250 gig hard drive. I don’t have it yet, but will soon, probably tomorrow or the next day.

    The plan, for starters, is to put Ubuntu 8.04 and Amarok on it and network it to the Pentium III box via a simple wired network. That way I can edit my music collection on the better performing machine, which is also in my office and is hence more comfortable than the living room. So what I’ll want to do is copy via the network the music collection, the Amarok database and config files from the Pentium III to the Athlon 6400. Then I’ll do my editing and copy it back. (The result will also be a backup of my music collection.)

    I’m hoping there’s some Linux-based software that will let me do this easily. If I were doing this in Windows, I would use Second Copy (..:: Second Copy ::.. Secure your data with automatic backups). That program lets you set up profiles that always copy specific files to a location that you designate. I want to be able to create two profiles, one that all the necessary files from the Pentium III to the Athlon 64, and another that does the opposite. Obviously, I'll need the copying to be simple copying and not conversion into some kind of backup format.

    What program would you suggest for this? Also, should I upgrade the Pentium III's OS to Ubuntu 8.04?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Ah! I like this kind of challenge.

    What you're looking to do can be done in a quite straightforward manner. Before we go any further I'd like to present a couple of alternative methods
    • Simply mounting the remote directory on the new machine and working from there
    • Doing all your work over ssh with X forwarding (if you're stuck for CPU overhead this might not be the answer, though it is very cool)
    • Using rsync to mirror the directories to your new PC.
    The rsync command is most likely what you are looking for. There are graphical front ends if command line scares you but rsync is probably the most powerful and fully featured mirroring tool in existence. It is the standard the world over, and it already lives on your Linux box. Actually a lot of applications out there are based on the code for rsync.

    So if you go the rsync route you can mount the remote directory and run a simple rsync to perfectly copy structure including permissions. What's better is that if new stuff is added it will only take that, and when you go to copy it back only files that have changed will be transferred back. rsync even includes direct ssh functionality so that you can do it all over scp, negating the need to mount the drive - though scp is encrypted so again if CPU overhead is at a premium maybe not.

    Short answer, what you want is not only possible...it's also relatively easy and quiite cool when you get it going.

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