External USB / SATA drives for backups


Please pardon the “newbie” question… however, I would like to backup my full system and domains to an external USB drive.

The plan is to swap the drive at the end of each week, alternating one for the other, with one not plugged in being kept offsite for security & safety reasons.

My system is current with CentOS 5.6 and the latest GPL versions of VirtualMin & WebMin.

I guess my question is does CentOS autodetect the external USB drive?

Should I use identical drives, will that make it easier for the system to detect and use them as I swap them out?

Also, I should mention that this Dell server has an external E-SATA plug in on the back. Should i use this instead and get a couple of external E-SATA drives?

Any recommendations on using the built-in backup features of Webmin / Virtuamin would be appreciated. Is there a “sticky” on this subject?

Any help in pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated… thanks to all. Keep up the great work!


Well, I believe most distributions would setup a USB drive to automatically mount when it was connected.

Type the command “mount”, note which drives and devices are mounted… then plug in your device, and type “mount” again. Does it show up?

Then for backups – take a look at Backup and Restore -> Scheduled Backups for performing regular backups of your domains.

For backing up other files, you can take a look at Webmin -> System -> Filesystem Backups.


my Centos 6 server didn’t recognise NTFS so had to install

yum install epel-release
yum install ntfs-3g