Category Archives: Erasure Coding

Backup and Restore your Ubuntu Linux Workstations

This is a mechanism I invented and I’ve been using for decades, to migrate or clone my Linux Desktops to other physical servers.

This script is focused on doing the job for Ubuntu but I was doing this already 30 years ago, for X Window as I was responsible of the Linux platform of a ISP (Internet Service Provider). So, it is compatible with any Linux Desktop or Server.

It has the advantage that is a very lightweight backup. You don’t need to backup /etc or /var as long as you install a new OS and restore the folders that you did backup. You can backup and restore Wine (Windows Emulator) programs completely and to/from VMs and Instances as well.

It’s based on user/s rather than machine.

And it does backup using the Timestamp, so you keep all the different version, modified over time. You can fusion the backups in the same folder if you prefer avoiding time versions and keep only the latest backup. If that’s your case, then replace s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW=”${s_PATH_BACKUP}${s_DATETIME}/” by s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW=”${s_PATH_BACKUP}” for instance. You can also add a folder for machine if you prefer it, for example if you use the same userid across several Desktops/Servers.

I offer you a much simplified version of my scripts, but they can highly serve your needs.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Author: Carles Mateo
# Last Update: 2022-10-23 10:48 Irish Time

# User we want to backup data for
# Target PATH for the Backups

s_DATE=$(date +"%Y-%m-%d")
s_DATETIME=$(date +"%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S")


echo "Creating path $s_PATH_BACKUP and $s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW"
mkdir $s_PATH_BACKUP


# Version the PGP files
echo "Compressing the PGP files as ${s_PGP_FILE}"
zip -r ${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}${s_PGP_FILE} /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/PGP/*

# Copy to BCK folder, or ZFS or to an external drive Locally as defined in: s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW
echo "Copying Data to ${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}/Data"
rsync -a --exclude={} --acls --xattrs --owner --group --times --stats --human-readable --progress -z "/home/${s_USER}/Desktop/data/" "${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}data/"
rsync -a --exclude={'Desktop','Downloads','.local/share/Trash/','.local/lib/python2.7/','.local/lib/python3.6/','.local/lib/python3.8/','.local/lib/python3.10/','.cache/JetBrains/'} --acls --xattrs --owner --group --times --stats --human-readable --progress -z "/home/${s_USER}/" "${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}home/${s_USER}/"
rsync -a --exclude={} --acls --xattrs --owner --group --times --stats --human-readable --progress -z "/home/${s_USER}/Desktop/code/" "${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}code/"

echo "Showing backup dir ${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}"
ls -hal ${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}

df -h /

See how I exclude certain folders like the Desktop or Downloads with –exclude.

It relies on the very useful rsync program. It also relies on zip to compress entire folders (PGP Keys on the example).

If you use the second part, to compress Docker Images (Jenkins in this example), you will run it as sudo and you will need also gzip.

# continuation... sudo running required.

# Save Docker Images
echo "Saving Docker Jenkins /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_EXPORT}"
sudo docker save jenkins:base --output /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_EXPORT}
echo "Saving Docker Jenkins /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_BLUEOCEAN2_EXPORT}"
sudo docker save jenkins:base --output /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_BLUEOCEAN2_EXPORT}
echo "Setting permissions"
sudo chown ${s_USER}.${s_USER} /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_EXPORT}
sudo chown ${s_USER}.${s_USER} /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_BLUEOCEAN2_EXPORT}
echo "Compressing /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_EXPORT}"
gzip /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_EXPORT}
gzip /home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/${s_DOCKER_IMG_JENKINS_BLUEOCEAN2_EXPORT}

rsync -a --exclude={} --acls --xattrs --owner --group --times --stats --human-readable --progress -z "/home/${s_USER}/Desktop/Docker_Images/" "${s_PATH_BACKUP_NOW}Docker_Images/"

There is a final part, if you want to backup to a remote Server/s using ssh:

# continuation... to copy to a remote Server.


# Copy to the other Server
rsync -e "ssh -i $s_PATH_KEY" -a --exclude={} --acls --xattrs --owner --group --times --stats --human-readable --progress -z "/home/${s_USER}/Desktop/data/" ${s_PATH_REMOTE}

I recommend you to use the same methodology in all your Desktops, like for example, having a data/ folder in the Desktop for each user.

You can use Erasure Code to split the Backups in blocks and store a piece in different Cloud Providers.

Also you can store your Backups long-term, with services like Amazon Glacier.

Other ideas are storing certain files in git and in Hadoop HDFS.

If you want you can CRC your files before copying to another device or server.

You will use tools like: sha512sum or md5sum.

Twitch Stream about ZFS, zpool scrubbing, Hard drives, Data Centers, NVMe, Rack Servers…

Twitch stream on 2022-06-06 10:50 IST

In this very long session we went through actual errors in a ZFS pool, we check the Kernel, we remove and reinsert the drive, conduct zpool scrub… in the meantime I talked about Rack, Rack Servers, PSU, redundant components, ECC RAM…

News from the Blog 2022-05-22

Media, Press, Radio

I was contributing already but since the 2th of May I started my radio space, also streamed in Twitch, google Podcast, Apple, Spotify… in Radio America Barcelona.

My space is named The New Digital World (“el nou món digital”) and I talk about tech news, technology, videogames and handy tricks.

This content is in Catalan language only, so I added to the blog as ending in [CA]

New Projects: Erasure Code

For my university thesis I’ve been creating an Erasure Coding solution that allows to encode and distribute the files seamlessly across an universe of Servers in different cloud providers, balancing the disk space used, super easy to use, and resilient to disaster and recovery.

I created my project, named Erasure Code as Open Source, so all size of companies will be able to benefit from this technology, only available to multinationals until now.

Here you can watch a presentation and a demo:

Erasure Code project

I hope this will help tons of companies and startup, hopefully scientific startups, to save costs and focus more in their business and to make a better world.

My final presentation was the 20th of May.


Python Combat Guide

I’ve updated my book Python Combat Guide with few additions.

Currently is 405 pages DIN-A4 size plus gitlab downloadable code.

It can be downloaded as PDF DRM-free.

Updates to this version 1.08 2022-05-11:

  • Added an example of .copy() for Arrays and mention to deepcopy()
  • Example on how to sort a dictionary of key/counter
  • Improvements to MT Notation updated
  • Added packages recommended: colorama, pynput, bisect
  • Added Personal WebServer examples.
  • Added examples of Python misbehaving with Floats.
  • Explanations about redefining reserved keywords like print or exit as a variable.
  • Style modification to add lines over the line number and over the Footnote.

My health

My health is improving.

Thanks to my self discipline, following a good diet, taking the medicines… I’ve seen an spectacular improvement since I was sent urgently to he hospital with risk for my life.

I’ve very grateful that amazing doctors care of me.

I had some ups and downs and downs while pushing to finish my final project for the HDip in Computer Science Cloud Computing, but I managed to complete everything on time.

I had to travel to visit amazing specialists, and had to pay the expensive treatments, however everything worked and my health has improved drastically. I am very happy to count with additional source of income, like the teaching programming and my technical books, which helped me to be able to deal with all these sorts of unexpected expenses. I appreciate every single sale of my books, as it made me feel useful and appreciated when I was a bit low, and the nice details some of the readers had. Thanks.


I’ve keep blocking in the Firewall any IP and that network coming to the blog from Russia and Belarus. I’ve blocked millions of IP Addresses so far.

I’ve also blocked the traffic coming from CSP when I detect an attack and the IP belongs to them. Most of the attacks were coming from Digital Ocean, after and and finally Amazon. Curiously some attacks came from IPs from Microsoft.

I’ve blocked all these ranges of IPs, hundreds of thousands.

Despite blocking all these IPs from CSPs, the number of visitors keeps growing.

At the end my blog is for Engineers and for people, I don’t have interest in bots, and I don’t get any revenue from ads (I never added ads) so I’m perfectly happy with having less visitors, but being humans that find help in the blog.