A wayward journey into the depths of sanity

© 2022 Greg Nokes

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iTunes Backups

Now that we are starting to buy / rent movies on our Apple TV, I wanted to have a seamless backup mechanism. The fact that we are running Tiger made it a little more challenging, along with my distain for COTS software. After all, all I really want to do is keep 2 copies of 1 (rather large) directory else where on the network…

So, I have a 750gb disk on my AirPort Extreme as a backup target for the Leopard laptops in the house. TimeMachine loves to automagically attach and back up all the time. I do not have the luxury of Time Machine on my iTunes server, as it’s hosted on an old powerbook running Tiger (lappy for long time readers). Knowing that Mac OSX has rsync by installed by default, I thought that it should be a trivial task to just rsync the data over to the AirPort.

rsync -r --eahfs --showtogo * /Volumes/backup/itunes/ Seems to work like a charm! --eahfs tells rsync to maintain the extended HFS attributes, and --showtogo gives us a progress indicator. (by the way, for all you linux geeks out there, --progress shows progress on my Debian box). Note: we assume that you have mounted the backup volume and created an itunes directory on it.

Macs have this wonderful directory /etc/periodic. You can guess what it does. I dropped my daily script into the /etc/periodic/daily directory, and the weekly script into /etc/periodic/weekly. Could not be easier. The two scripts simply backup to different directories on the backup volume (itunes.wky and itunes.dly). Presto, quick and dirty backups.

Next week, I add error checking and email reporting to the mix.

Daily code


#backup of itunes directory to shared HDD on networky

#daily backup
rsync -r --eahfs /Volumes/monolith/iTunes/* /Volumes/backup/itunes.dly/

Weekly code


# backup of itunes directory to shared HDD on networky

# Weekly backup
rsync -r --eahfs /Volumes/monolith/iTunes/* /Volumes/backup/itunes.wky/