That thing rocks!
Setup was moderately unsmooth as I
needed to experiment a bit with the different options. I have a mix
of Linux and Windows (different versions), laptops and desktops, DHCP on
all of them. I tried a bit of everything. The localhost (backup
server) is backed up by the tar method (with help from visudo). Other
Linux hosts (or dual-boot linux+windows hosts) are backed up by rsync
over ssh (with help from rsa certificates for authentication and a
restriction to allow this only from the backup server's hostname).
Windows hosts are backed up by SMB and rather than giving administrator
access I decided to create a local user on each of them and share only
the parts of the disk that need back ups (like C:\Users) and give access
to that user. I'll have to rely on the Windows firewall to restrict
this usage only from the backup server host name.
a week or so, I was confident that this would work but I re-installed
the whole thing to take advantage of LVM partitioning on my new 2TB SATA
drive installed especially for this purpose in the backup server. In
my initial install I had partitioned that thing in the traditional way
and I had a number of partitions on that drive for no good reason.
another week is almost over and I can say everything works as
expected. Backups are being taken (not necessarily daily, both clients
and server need to be up and connected on the network at the same time
of course, and backup is only attempted hourly). I only got one email
sent over that period (the day I re-installed the thing, before I was
able to configure one of the SMB hosts).
I start the
server manually when I feel we all need some good backup (if nobody else
powered it before I do) and I added a crontab entry to shut it down at
04:00 AM (when backups are expected to be finished). We'll see how this
works but so far, so good and much better than my previous solutions. I
went back yesterday to sourceforge to give a nice rating to this
project. I will keep an eye on the 4.x version as it progresses.