DirSync Utility

This is a little utility that I wrote for backing up a source directory into a target directory. It copies all the files from the source directory to the target directory. If the target file exist, then the two files are compared and if the source file is newer then it is copied to the target directory. It does not copy files from the target directory to the source directory. This could be added if it is needed, but at this point I do not require that function. There are three switches for the executable, they are -s for source directory, -t for target directory and -r for retention days. After comparing the source and target directories, the program will scan the target directory and delete any file that has not been modified for more than the retention days. The best way to describe a use for this would be in the case of a SQL server. We create one full backup each morning and then backup the transaction logs every 15 minutes during the day. The full backup of our ERP is 6 gigs. The server that is hosting the SQL server only has 130 gigs of storage so we can not keep more than two days for backup files on the server before we start to have storage problems. We do have a file server with 800 gigs of storage so I am using this program to copy the backup files from the SQL server to the file server and only keep two days on the SQL server. I can then set the retention days to seven and it will keep seven days worth of backups on the file server.

The utility is called like:
sync.exe -sc:sql backups -t\computer1c$temp -r14

The source can be downloaded here and the executable can be downloaded here.

SUSE Linux 10 vs. Ubuntu Edgy 6.10

Well I have spent the last week playing with both SLED 10 and Edgy. Both of these distributions are excellent and will make any user happy, however they are not without faults.

SLED 10: The first thing that you see is WOW, this is an incredible looking distribution. It would seem that Novell has spend lots of time making SLED look great. The default software that is installed is good and for most users it will have everything that you need. I like the way that they have done the start panel, although it took some getting used to. I was not so crazy about the new layout that they used for GNOME. The first thing I did was change GNOME back to the more standard layout. It would have been nice if there had been an option during the install for the new or old layout. The install did not have any problems with me hardware, other than the standard problem with sound capture with my sound card, which is an HDA Intel card that has not worked with anything yet. Novell really needs to remove that bastard of a configuration mess called YAST. This has got to be the worst configuration tools every used. It can do just about anything, if you have the four hours needed to find what you are looking for. The package management tools within YAST are not as good as apt or yum, and should be replaced with one of them as the default package manager.

Ubuntu Edgy: Mark Shuttleworth made a posting in his blog recently that “Pretty” is a feature. Well they are still off the mark with this release on that count. For all the changes and growth that Ubuntu has made in the short amount of time that it has been around, the looks just have not kept up with the rest of the changes. The color scheme is starting to get dated, and the graphics have not changed much. After spending some time on the GNOME art site things started to look much better. The default install includes an excellent selection of software for a distribution that comes on one CD. The time between Edgy and Dapper was rather short so as one would expect there are no major changes. Most of the packages are simple updated from the previous release. There where really only two big changes that I have found. Edgy is now using a generic kernel that replaces the K7 and i686 kernel from past distributions. The other change is with Nautilus, it is not nearly as stable as in past releases. Edgy uses apt for its package management, and after making a few changes to the source list there is pretty much nothing that can not be install quick and easy.

Conclusion: Both of these distribution are excellent and will make the user glad they are not using Windows. It really comes down to personnel preference. I personally have come to prefer Ubuntu because of its excellent package management tools and general ease of use. I started out using SUSE and never did learn to like YAST, although I did come to a basic understanding with it. In the end I would have to give Ubuntu the edge in both community and pace of change.

ECLUG Meeting for November

At last nights LUG meeting I did a presentation on setting up and configuring OpenVPN server. We did a Linux server and then setup both a Linux and Windows client. There were a couple of problems that came up which then let us do some trouble shooting of the server. That was pretty much it for the meeting as the presentation was a little over and hour and a half long.

The next meeting is scheduled for December 6th at 7PM at NFA. At this meeting Dave is going to be doing a presentation on Bash. The pre-meeting dinner will most likely be at Dillans in Norwich starting at 6PM.