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Backup or archive? Command line or application?

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http://forums.opensuse.org – Hi Everyone, I am hoping that someone can explain very easily to me which would be my best option. My machine is dual boot on the primary drive, but over the past year I have only gone to windows for a music notation program and a family tree program. My machine has two hard drives my second hard drive is fat32 and is shared with windows. Once a month (I try to remember) to backup my /home directory to the second drive. Then about every three months I burn my /home directory onto dvd's. Once a year I burn a copy of all my photographs taken during the year and send them to godmother in case my house burns down. Over the years this has become more difficult as my /home directory appears to be so big. I have been using tar cvf /windows/D/home.tar /home/nappy I think I have also been using split, but because I only use it every few months, I am never really comfortable with it and I spend a day trying to get my head around what I need to do so I don't mistype (I find using the command line quite frightening). I do like the idea that I can see all the files it is copying. So I need to backup my data in my /home directory, in case my old machine dies, or for the next time I upgrade Suse. So today when I started my /home directory was around 20gb. I have copied my movies, photos and documents folder, etc for the whole year onto my second drive and burned them to dvd. Also the hidden folder .thunderbird. I have deleted them from my primary drive, but not the .thunderbird. I have also emptied the trash. So now when I check the properties on my /home directory it says: 5.4 GB Free disk space 14.8 GB out of 28.6 GB (49%) However when I check with a calculator I am using 13.8 GB of space? In the past I have used tar and split, but I can't find the piece of paper with the command written on and so it goes on... I have found another thread which talks about 'back in time', luckybackup and rsnapshot. So what is it I do? I think I am backing up. What do these applications do? and is it what I want? It may sound a strange question, but they talk about snapshots and sync tool. I don't really understand what that is or does. I take snapshots of my screen sometimes, I'm not sure how this relates to files/data? Regards nappy P.S When I go to my computer I have noticed / has a red bar. It says it has 319.4 MB left. It is a 16 GB drive, am I correct in thinking the / partition doesn't get any bigger? (Distributions)