Easily create lightweight backups of installed packages, dotfiles, and more.
shallow-backup lets you easily create lightweight backups of installed packages, applications, fonts and dotfiles, and automatically push them to a remote Git repository.
- Git Integration
- What can I back up?
- Backup Customization
- Output Structure
- Want to contribute?
$ pip3 install shallow-backup
shallow-backupbinary from Releases tab.
To start the interactive program, simply run
shallow-backup was built with scripting in mind. Every feature that's supported in the interactive program is supported with command line args.
Usage: shallow-backup [OPTIONS] Easily back up installed packages, dotfiles, and more. You can edit which files are backed up in ~/.shallow-backup. Written by Aaron Lichtman (@alichtman). Options: -all Full back up. -configs Back up app config files. -delete_config Delete config file. -destroy_backup Delete backup directory. -dotfiles Back up dotfiles. -fonts Back up installed fonts. --new_path TEXT Input a new back up directory path. -no_splash Don't display splash screen. -old_path Skip setting new back up directory path prompt. -packages Back up package libraries. -reinstall_all Full reinstallation. -reinstall_configs Reinstall configs. -reinstall_dots Reinstall dotfiles and dotfolders. -reinstall_fonts Reinstall fonts. -reinstall_packages Reinstall packages. --remote TEXT Set remote URL for the git repo. -separate_dotfiles_repo Use if you are trying to maintain a separate dotfiles repo and running into issue #229. -show Display config file. -v, --version Display version and author info. -help, -h, --help Show this message and exit.
A Word of Caution
This backup tool is git-integrated, meaning that you can easily store your backups remotely (on GitHub, for example.) Dotfiles and configuration files may contain sensitive information like API keys and ssh keys, and you don't want to make those public. To make sure no sensitive files are uploaded accidentally,
shallow-backup creates a
.gitignore file if it can't find one in the directory. It excludes
.pypirc by default. It's safe to remove these restrictions if you're pushing to a remote private repository, or you're only backing up locally. To do this, you should clear the
.gitignore file without deleting it.
If you choose to back up to a public repository, look at every file you're backing up to make sure you want it to be public.
What if I'd like to maintain a separate repo for my dotfiles?
shallow-backup makes this easy! After making your first backup,
cd into the
dotfiles/ directory and run
$ git init. Create a
.gitignore and a new repo on your favorite version control platform. This repo will be maintained independently (manually) of the base
shallow-backup repo. Note that you may need to use the
-separate_dotfiles_repo flag to get this to work, and it may break some other functionality of the tool. It's ok for my use case, though.
What can I back up?
shallow-backup backs these up.
App Config Files
- Sublime Text 2/3
Sublime Text 2/3Packages
- System Applications
If you'd like to modify which files are backed up, you have to edit the
~/.config/shallow-backup.conf file. There are two recommended ways of doing this.
- Select the appropriate option in the CLI and follow the prompts.
- Open the file in a text editor and make your changes.
backup_dir/ ├── configs │ ├── plist │ │ └── com.apple.Terminal.plist │ ├── sublime_2 │ │ └── ... │ └── sublime_3 │ └── ... ├── dotfiles │ ├── .bash_profile │ ├── .bashrc │ ├── .gitconfig │ ├── .pypirc │ ├── ... │ ├── .shallow-backup │ ├── .ssh/ │ │ └── known_hosts │ ├── .vim/ │ └── .zshrc ├── fonts │ ├── AllerDisplay.ttf │ ├── Aller_Bd.ttf │ ├── Aller_BdIt.ttf │ ├── Aller_It.ttf │ ├── ... │ ├── Ubuntu Mono derivative Powerline Bold Italic.ttf │ ├── Ubuntu Mono derivative Powerline Bold.ttf │ ├── Ubuntu Mono derivative Powerline Italic.ttf │ └── Ubuntu Mono derivative Powerline.ttf └── packages ├── apm_list.txt ├── brew-cask_list.txt ├── brew_list.txt ├── cargo_list.txt ├── gem_list.txt ├── installed_apps_list.txt ├── npm_list.txt ├── macports_list.txt ├── pip_list.txt └── sublime3_list.txt
I back up system images of my MacBook Pro to an external SSD multiple times every week, and it always takes way too long. I wanted to speed this up, so I took a look at what was actually being backed up. I saw that my
pip libraries took up a ton more space than I imagined.
And that's totally unnecessary. When you back something up, you do it with the intention of being able to get back to that exact state at some point in the future. The minimum you need in order to recreate those package libraries later is just a list of the packages that are installed with each package manager. If you have these lists, restoring your system package installs is easy:
$ pip install -r pip_list.txt, for example.
I cut down my backup size by almost
10GB by replacing my
brew cask and
npm libraries with simple text files. I also cut down the back up time significantly since many fewer files were being copied.
Once I'd built that functionality, I wanted to have a single backup utility for files and folders often used by developers, so I added the ability to backup
fonts. (Note: Because just having a list of installed fonts or a list of dotfiles that exist isn't very useful,
shallow-backup creates copies of all dotfiles and user installed fonts.)
Want to Contribute?
CONTRIBUTING.md and the
Release history Release notifications
Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.
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