Memopal Online Backup

by Juliet Kemp

Tip of the Trade: Memopal recently released a Linux version of its online backup service. Should you take it out for a spin?

Juliet Kemp
Memopal recently released a version of its software for Linux, offering an online backup service for either personal or business users. The business service allows multiuser access, so it can act as a filesharing as well as a backup service. You can get a free trial access for 7 days, but after that it's (unsurprisingly!) a paid-for service.

The Linux version is still in beta and has only a command-line interface. It's available for Ubuntu, Debian etch, and Fedora — binaries only, not source code, as it's not open source. The online documentation is limited, but support is available via the Web site, and there's a community forum that seems active.

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My 5MB test backup took about five min. After it completes the immediate backup, the program keeps running, and as I understand it, it should watch for changes and then back those up. However, in practice it didn't spot my test file creation until I restarted the backup.

I couldn't see an automate option — possibly this is part of the GUI and thus not available for Linux. You could set up a cronjob, but be wary that it requires your password as plaintext to run. The command is

memopal -u username -p password --backupFolder /full/path/to/directory

Default output is pretty verbose, outputting a line every second.

For file restore or file access, you can browse your files directly from the Memopal Web site — a really nice feature, which also enables you to check your backups straight away.

It's definitely got promise, and may be worth experimenting with for essential files — but as an always-on daemon type of backup I don't think it's quite there yet for Linux.

This article was originally published on Monday Oct 27th 2008
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