Use rsync to Backup Your MacBook

I have a MacBook running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) which I needed to backup to an external USB hard drive. The simplest way for me to backup was using rsync. After plugging in the external drive, look for it under Volumes:

ls /Volumes/

You should see two or more drives listed, depending on what kind of setup you have. Once should be the default Machintosh HD and one should be your external drive; mine was called Mac. I had partitioned my external drive into two, one for Windows and one for Mac, and named them accordingly.

I wanted to backup my home directory under /Users. Say my username was macbook, then I wanted to backup /Users/macbook/. I used the following command:

rsync -vhrpEtlb /Users/macbook/ /Volumes/Mac/macbook-data/

The destination directory was macbook-data on the external drive in case different users wanted their own directories within the external drive. But what options did I use? v means verbose; h means human readable format; r means recursively backup data by going into subdirectories; p means preserve permissions; E means preserve the ability of executable files to be executed; t means preserve modification times of the files; l means preserve symbolic links; b means backup;

I also backed up my Applications directory, containing all installed applications, like so:

rsync -vhrpEtlb /Applications/ /Volumes/Mac/macbook-applications/

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