customizing what gets backed up on the internet tablets (workaround for bug #974)

A few days ago, I submitted a bug because os2006 doesn’t backup/restore my /etc/apt/sources.list (the list of application repositories I typed in). Paul Klapperich suggested the custom backup trick to add your own files and dirs to what gets backed up and restored. According to Jakub Pavelek (of nokia), /etc/apt/sources.list is backed up on os2007 on the n800, but this info still might help somebody if there’s anything else they want backed up.

I created a file called my-custom-backup.conf based on this and I think others might appreciate having it, since it fixes 2 bugs or adds 2 features (depending on how you look at it) to os2006 – it backs up the application repository list and all archived email (among other things – see below).

It saves the following files/dirs for the following reasons:

/etc/apt/sources.list list of the application repositories
/media/mmc1/.archive this is where the email program stores “archived” emails – I lost a bunch of these when I reformatted my rsmmc card to have 512 byte blocks for maemo mapper a while back because I didn’t check for hidden files on the card
/etc/others-menu is already saved in the default backup configuration, but I thought I should save this, too
/etc/hosts I manually enter the ip addresses of my other computers in here so I can scp from the 770 with a machine name instead of an ip address
/home/user/.ssh this is so I don’t have to share my keys across my machines after every os update on my internet tablet, and also so I can have my usual login name on my other machines in .ssh/config – the default for ssh is to use the current username, which is “user” on the 770
/home/user/.bash_profile I got used to the alias ll=”ls -l” on redhat a few years back and can’t get by without it
/home/user/bin for a couple scripts I wrote
/home/user/keys the ssh keys for the other machines
/media/mmc1/.albums this is for obscura, which is already looking really good
/home/user/.thumbnails I think this is where file manager stores the image thumbnails – might as well back it up
/etc/…/my-custom-backup.conf this config file, of course

download my-custom-backup.conf, edit it to suit your needs, get root & xterm on your 770, and as root, copy my-custom-backup.conf to /etc/osso-backup/applications/ and backup to your heart’s delight. I tested restoring with this custom backup file and it didnt’ brick my device, which I look at as a success. 🙂

A couple notes:
It silently ignores files & dirs that don’t exist.
You can’t make up your own categories, at least not by just mentioning it in this .conf file. I tried this with the category name “shmoopy” and it was silently ignored.

Bugs: Some of the stuff doesn’t really belong in the settings category. I had it put .archive in the email category and .albums and .thumbnails in the media category, but everything else ends up in The file is easy to edit – as I said, edit it to suit your taste.

Anybody that has more ideas on what to backup that’s not in the default nokia-provided (or some application-provided) setup, leave a comment here.

updated 2007-02-01 9:33pm HST: added /etc/osso-backup/applications/my-custom-backup.conf


5 Responses to “customizing what gets backed up on the internet tablets (workaround for bug #974)”

  1. xyzo Says:


    I’lm quite interested by your post, and specially by the .bash_profile you mention in it. I’ve tried to create such a file but it looks like it is never recognize by system, no matter how I connect (directly from xterm nor through SSH). I’ve got a simple .bash_profile file:

    echo “Hello”
    alias su=”sudo gainroot”

    “Hello” is never displayed, and my alias does not appear in the aliases list which is empty :-/ Any clue?

    TIA for your help,
    Laurent, in Nantes (France).

  2. mzandrew Says:

    by default, the nokia runs ash, not bash, so it never loads .bash_profile. Just run bash as soon as you’ve run xterm or ssh’d into your nokia. (have to install bash first, though).

    If you can figure out how to get bash to run by default when you log in to your nokia, let me know! I didn’t look into it, but it might be something simple.

  3. » Backup менеджер на таблетке : не забудьте наши файлы ! » Internet Tablet Says:

    […] о указанных нами файлах и директориях. (По материалам internettabletmania) This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons […]

  4. abology Says:

    After installing bash, you have to run bash-setup for each account that you want to enable. That’s it.

    By the way, thanks for the tip about the custom backup config!

    I’d like your help on a strange problem: the openvpn *.key file, my-custom-backup.conf and possibly other files are not being included in the zip files. In the case of openvpn, the rest of the directory is correctly saved so I am lost.


  5. Backup adventures « abology Says:

    […] a tip from a fellow blogger, I tried customizing the backup config in Maemo, with mixed results: on one […]

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