Empty backup directory

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Mon Jun 28 05:21:16 UTC 2021

Daniel said on Sat, 26 Jun 2021 09:29:29 +0200

>After installing LyX, the backup directory is empty (Preferences > 
>Paths). Does that mean that no backups are created by default or that 
>the backups are created even though "Backup documents, every ... 
>minutes" is checked (Preferences > Look & Feel > Document Handling) 
>(btw. Look & Feel seems a misnomer for backup settings). Or is a
>backup created in the directory of the lyx file (the title bar shows a 
>directory even for new not yet saved files, so I suppose these files
>are backup there as well)?

Hi Daniel,

This isn't responsive to your exact question, but it still might be

The way I've designed my workflow, backup is a multi-pronged strategy
not depending on any one application (such as LyX).

Obviously, one must regularly and frequently make complete backups of
all their data, data being stuff they can't reinstall or re-download.
This is the foundation of all backup.

But you can't do that every hour, or every 10 minutes when you're
working on a project. Git's pretty good for making backups every time a
milestone is reached (perhaps completion of another chapter). But git
isn't perfect: It takes an amount of time and concentration that could
cause you to forget what you were writing about.

I use a shellscript, called "bupsky", to back up at arbitrary moments
so I don't get knocked back more than a few minutes when working
continuously on a project. Here's bupsky:


curdir=$(pwd | sed -e "s/.*\///")
now=$(date +%Y%m%d_%H_%M_%S)

if test ! -d $bupdir; then
	mkdir $bupdir

cp -RpL $src $dst
echo backup written to $dst

The preceding shellscript takes the current directory and the whole
tree below it, can copies it. For instance, with my system, If I were
working in ~/docs/mynewbook, then bupsky would take that directory and
everything below it, and copy it to a directory something like
/scratch/bup/mynewbook_20210627_16_01_21 . The timestamp enables me to
roughly isolate *which* version is what I need. I'd anticipate bupsky
being good between git commits, or between real backups when git or
some other version control program isn't being used.

Bupsky isn't optimal for trees containing huge files. Then again,
backing up huge files in any way is suboptimal. 

Obviously, bupsky will eventually fill the disk if things aren't
pruned. No problem, once every 2 weeks, run a program that searches
every directory under the backup root (/scratch/bup in my case), and rm
-rf on any tree not containing a file less than 8 days old, on the
theory that by that time, you will have backed up all your data and
don't need the bupsky-created directories anymore.

Like I said, this isn't responsive to your question, but might be handy.


Steve Litt 
Spring 2021 featured book: Troubleshooting Techniques of the Successful
Technologist http://www.troubleshooters.com/techniques

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