The command
rdiff-backup /
will backup your root filesystem and all the subdirectories to, making /target-dir a mirror of /, and storing increments in /target-dir/rdiff-backup-data. Assuming, of course, that:

  1. rdiff-backup and ssh are properly installed on both computers, and in the PATH. must be running an ssh server. (rdiff-backup can use something other than ssh; see the man page for more information.)
  2. all source files are readable, and all necessary destination files are writable. In the example above this requires running as root. You could run only one side as root, as in:
    rdiff-backup /
    but then rdiff-backup wouldn't make the dev files. Also, all the files in /target-dir would be owned by user, because only root can chown. However, uid/gid information would be preserved in a separate file.

In reality, other options would probably be added, for instance to exclude /proc and tmp directories, change permissions if necessary, etc. Here is how I used to run it nightly on my system:

/usr/bin/rdiff-backup --exclude /usr/local/games --exclude /tmp/'*' --exclude /var/tmp/'*' --exclude /mnt --exclude /proc --exclude /sys / /mnt/back

Last modified: Sat Aug 13 22:24:50 PDT 2005