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How to use 'cp' as a simple but reliable backup tool
Authored by: andrew112358 on Feb 17, '10 08:28:03AM
You can also do cp -nav "/Volumes/LocalUSB/Photos/" "/Volumes/RemoteUSB/Photos/". cp doesn't always do the right thing with links. tar is a little better, you can do something like cd "/Volumes/LocalUSB/Photos" ; tar cf - . | tar xpkvf - -C "/Volumes/RemoteUSB/Photos" . The best option, though, is probably rsync: rsync -av "/Volumes/LocalUSB/Photos/" "/Volumes/RemoteUSB/Photos/". You have to be careful with the trailing slashes in rsync, but other than that it's just as easy as cp.

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