Effective Backups

Not sure if this is the best place to post this question but here goes:

I have two computers networked together, one is suse 10.3 only and the other is suse 10.3/ win xp dual boot each with a 200GB internal and 500GB external drive. My question is: what is the best/easiest/most effective way of backing up each computer so that full restoration can be made in case of catastrophic crash?

I have been using the Yast backup tool but it doesn’t support incremental backups. Is disk imaging the way to go? dd? what about backing up both computers over the network?

Advice appreciated!

you could use dd like to create a partition image e.g:
dd if=/dev/sda3 of=sda3.11june.img
Then network it to your NAS server
That could be done with a single shell script and a cron job at 2 am, where ot calculates date automatically. Every so often yoou delette the old ones from your NAS. Also look up netcat which reduces the number of actions required, sending direct to NAS

I like rsync and so should you.

rsync -a -e ssh source/ username@server.name:/path/to/backup

Read the man page, test it, and drop it in cron.daily.

If you’ve never used ssh to provide a passphrase check out ssh-agent and ssh-agent for X session

I strongly support this. A good usage of rsync and and cp -al is demonstrated with rsnapshot.