How to use rsync to backup and synchronize files to USB drive

Portable USB drive (sometimes called pendrive) has gained popularity as a medium for storing documents. Computer users would work on the files that they store on the usb drive and occasionally would copy them on their computer, or vice versa.

However this would cause problems if there’s a lot of files being worked on and transfered between usb drive and computers. Valuable time might be lost solely for identifying which of the files are more recent and need to be updated.

Fortunately there’s ‘rsync’, a tool which can be used to synchronize files between the computer and usb drive. Assuming you use Debian or Ubuntu, you only need to start ‘synaptic’ and select ‘rsync’ package. Once installed, start the terminal application and you can begin synchronizing the files using this command

$ rsync -r -vv /home/username/Documents/ /media/your_usb_drive

The general format of rsync command is :

$ rsync -r -vv <local document directory> <remote backup directory>

rsync only updates file which has been changed and would save time and precious harddisk space from maintaining duplicate files.

A Windows version is also available at :

Quick and Dirty Network File sharing with Python

Ever find yourself in need to share file over the network quickly, but find yourself lacking time to setup a proper NFS or samba share? Here’s a way to do this with the good old Python CLI.

  • First, go to the directory that you want to share, for example ~/Desktop
  • Then run this command "python -m SimpleHTTPServer"
  • You may access the folder from a remote computer using any webrowser using the url –, change the ip address accordingly
Simple HTTP Server
file sharing with python

You may find this technique offers limited options to share files, but its a real time saver!

How to Import export MySQL database from command line

This tip would be useful for those who are either making backup of their remote mysql database or moving their web hosting to their provider.

Here’s how to export mysql DB to SQL file using command-line utility :
mysqldump –user=username –password=1234 –databases your_database –opt –quote-names –complete-insert > example.sql

Here’s how to import the SQL back into mysql database :
mysql –user=username –password=1234 –databases your_database –host=mysql_server host

Don’t forget to add your ip address to the list of allowable host on the remote MySQL server!

How to add “Send To” removable USB drive in GNOME

Here’s a way to add “Send To” functionality to copy multiples files to removable drive (usually USB drive) in GNOME desktop.

Finally you can test it by selecting a file on your desktop and clicking the Send To option, you’ll be presented with a dialog similar to this.

Now you can easily copy files between your GNOME Desktop to your portable USB drive.

Send To Dialog