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RV Offsite Backup Update | Linux Journal

RV Offsite Backup Update | Linux Journal

Having an offsite backup in your RV is nice, and after a 12 months of use,
I’ve found some methods to make it even higher.

Last 12 months I wrote a feature-length article on the info backup system I
arrange for my RV (see Kyle’s “DIY
RV Offsite Backup and Media Server”
from the June 2018 concern of
LJ). If you have not learn that article but, I like to recommend
checking it out first so you may get particulars on the system. In abstract,
I arrange a Raspberry Pi media heart PC related to a 12V tv
within the RV. I related an 8TB exhausting drive to that system and
synchronized all of my recordsdata and media so it acted as a sort of
off-site backup. Finally, I arrange a script that will try to sync
over all of these recordsdata from my NAS each time it detected that the RV was on
the native community. So right here, I present an replace on how that
system is working and some tweaks I’ve made to it since.

What Works

Overall, the media heart has labored effectively. It’s been nice to have all
of my media with me once I’m on a highway journey, and my son appreciates
accessing his favourite cartoons. Because the interface is
equivalent to the media heart we’ve got at house, there is not any studying
curve—all the things simply works. Since the Raspberry Pi is powered off
the TV within the RV, you simply must activate the TV and all the things fires

It’s additionally been nice figuring out that I’ve backup of all of my
recordsdata close by. Should something occur to my home or my primary NAS, I do know
that I can simply get backups from the RV. Having peace of thoughts about
your necessary recordsdata is efficacious, and it is good figuring out within the worst
case when my NAS broke, I might simply disconnect my USB drive from the
RV, join it to an area system, and be again up and operating.

The WiFi booster I arrange on the RV additionally has labored fairly effectively to
improve the vary of the Raspberry Pi (and the laptops contained in the RV)
when on the highway. When we get to a campsite that occurs to supply WiFi,
I simply reset the booster and arrange a brand new entry level that amplifies
the campsite sign for contained in the RV. On one journey, I even took it out
of the RV and inside a lodge room to spice up the weak sign.

Room for Improvement

For essentially the most half, I go away my RV plugged in once I’m at house, however as a result of
the Raspberry Pi is powered off the TV, I do not essentially go away it
on on a regular basis. Every week or so, I have a tendency to show it on for a day or
two to be sure that recordsdata are in sync, however I notice it could be a
lot higher if I simply left the Raspberry Pi on unbiased from the TV.
Even although OSMC boots up shortly on the Raspberry Pi, it could be
fairly good for it to be able to go the second I turned on the TV.
Since the Raspberry Pi does not draw a lot energy when idle, I do not
actually need to fret about it draining my home batteries if I go away it
on at house—particularly for the reason that RV is usually plugged in at house.

The WiFi booster works, however by default, it simply provides “_8C” to the distant
entry level’s SSID. It additionally, by default, reuses the distant entry
level’s password. This means you danger different individuals close by utilizing your
entry level, pondering it is one of many official repeaters. I’ve taken
to altering the default SSID it picks to one thing customized to me,
however sadly thus far, I have never discovered a approach within the interface to present my
boosted AP a distinct password, which signifies that even when I choose a
constant SSID for my WiFi booster, I nonetheless need to reconfigure
laptops and the Raspberry Pi to make use of a distinct password.

I’ve began to wonder if it’d make extra sense to attach a
higher-powered USB WiFi card with an exterior antenna to the Raspberry
Pi and switch it into the repeater as an alternative. Then I might use the OSMC
interface to connect with distant entry factors and route connections over
the entry level I arrange on the Raspberry Pi.

Another concern I’ve run into when on lengthy highway journeys is that whereas I am
the highway, my RV is not in sync with my house NAS. That means if
any new media exhibits up on my house NAS, I will not have it on the highway. For
instance, if I adopted loads of podcasts and saved them on my
NAS, it could be good if new ones would additionally present up on my RV when
I am on the highway.

Syncing from the Road

I used to be planning to take an epic multi-week highway journey throughout America, and
I noticed a easy approach I might be certain that I had new media with me on
the highway—a VPN. These days, many individuals consider VPNs simply within the
context of safety and privateness as a solution to shield their techniques from
snooping by their ISP or from an area espresso store they’re related
to. VPNs although are only a approach so that you can join two trusted networks
securely over a probably untrusted community. This is strictly what I
wanted for my RV.

By having a VPN connection between my Raspberry Pi and my house NAS, it
might hook up with my house community wherever it was out on the planet, offered
it had a WiFi connection. What’s extra, since OpenVPN could be configured
to assign purchasers a constant IP once they join, as soon as I set it up,
all I needed to do on the server facet was modify an area hosts entry to
level to the VPN IP as an alternative of the RV’s regular IP on the native community,
and the sync script might keep the identical.

I already had arrange a easy native Puppet server on my house community
and added a module to handle my VPN configuration, so it was comparatively
easy so as to add a brand new shopper for my RV and generate a set of keys and
configuration recordsdata. On the RV facet, I simply copied over that shopper key
and configuration, and I made certain that OpenVPN was put in on the RV’s
Raspberry Pi. Finally, I edited the /and so forth/default/openvpn file to make
certain my shopper configuration was set as much as begin by default, and I additionally
used systemctl to allow that OpenVPN shopper so it began at boot.

Once I arrange the VPN, I confirmed that the sync script nonetheless labored
over the brand new VPN IP whereas I used to be on my house community. The good thing
about OpenVPN purchasers is that they’re persistent—if a connection
drops, it frequently will attempt to reconnect. This meant that when the
Raspberry Pi was related to a WiFi entry level, it was only a matter
of time earlier than the VPN connection was restored.

We lastly took our epic summer time highway journey, and a couple of week into it, we
realized there was some new media at house we might wish to have within the RV.
We occurred to be at a campsite that supplied WiFi, so once we camped
there that night, earlier than we went to mattress, I reconnected the Raspberry
Pi so it was powered off a 12V USB adapter as an alternative of the TV. That
approach, I might go away it on in a single day with out the glow from the TV making
it exhausting to sleep. I logged in to my NAS at house and confirmed I might
ssh in to my RV from there after which went to mattress. When I
awakened, I
checked the media heart, and certain sufficient, new recordsdata had been copied
over to the RV in a single day whereas we slept!


This story would not be full although and not using a mistake. At some
level in our earlier travels, I had related the Raspberry Pi to my
cellular phone’s tethering plan, and it had remembered that entry level. We
occurred to be at one other campground that supplied WiFi, so I made a decision to
go away the Raspberry Pi on in a single day once more to get synced again up.
Unfortunately, the WiFi on the campsite did not work, and so we had been
tethering our laptops off of my cellphone. When I went to mattress that evening, I
forgot to disable tethering on my cellphone, and once I awakened that
I found the cellphone’s battery was fully drained!

The second I noticed the battery was drained, I noticed what had
occurred. I checked my knowledge plan, and certain sufficient, I had an enormous spike
over the previous night. The Raspberry Pi had remembered that entry
level, had tethered over my cellular phone, and it had synced a bunch of media
over whereas we had been sleeping! Fortunately, regardless that my plan is
metered, it has a cap in place that converts into “unlimited mode” as soon as
you employ a specific amount of knowledge, but when that hadn’t been in place, it
would have been a catastrophe. Suffice it to say, I went into the Raspberry Pi
configuration and eliminated that entry level so it would not occur
once more.


I have been more than happy with utilizing my RV media heart as an offsite
backup, and with the addition of a VPN, it has been even higher to have new
media whereas I am on the highway. I simply must discover a cost-effective approach
to maintain the Raspberry Pi on and on-line with out racking up an enormous
cell-phone invoice, after which I will actually have an always-up-to-date off-site
backup. Since my final highway journey, I’ve considered various
enhancements to this setup, so keep tuned for future articles the place
I will
describe much more updates.

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