View Full Version : SparseImage lock-in?

09-19-2007, 02:59 PM
Hi there,

I have been evaluating backup software for my macbook and came across SD! which seemed pretty universally praised.

I downloaded the trial and was very impressed. Simple, powerful and effective. My requirement (system backup to a network drive) was met easily.

However, just as I was about to pay the (reasonable) fee I came across something of a showstopper. I'm sharing it with the forum so that (a) you can correct my misapprehension and I can buy the product (the best solution) or (b) so that you'll know what feature caused one user not to buy SD! (in case you're interested).

I own one mac, one network drive and one pc (dual-boot linux and windows xp). Now, suppose the worst happens and my macbook is destroyed somehow (or at least the hdd is finished). At least my data's safe: I can still meet the deadlines for putting that website live/getting that program out the door etc.. BUT it seems I can't get at it.

Linux can handle dmgs but seems to draw the line at sparseimages (and an afternoon's googling couldn't turn up anything to the contrary on this). Windows is even worse. My data is unreachable therefore, until I can get a new/repaired macbook... this is not really good enough for me.

So unfortunately I have to look for another backup solution... don't I?

Thanks for reading this, hope it wasn't too long-winded or stupid :-)

09-19-2007, 04:51 PM
Well, it's important to note that the whole reason we use a sparse image here, and not a proprietary format, is that it isn't "lock-in" -- it's a totally native OSX format, and not specific to SuperDuper! in any way.

If you want your data to be reachable, though, and your Linux install doesn't support this standard OSX image type, then perhaps you should back up directly to an HFS+ drive. I believe most Linux installs can mount those drives...

09-19-2007, 05:12 PM
Thanks for replying!

I think the fact you choose a non-proprietary format is wholly laudable (I like the whole of SD!'s philosophy/usability), and I also realise that using the sparse image format neatly handles OSX file meta-data and associations in a way that more crude data backup solutions do not.

My point was that no other OS (I believe this to be true but I'd gladly be proven wrong) can read the data, not just my particular setup, and this may be a problem for -- very likely a small minority -- of users.

Is there a solution? Well, what I'd like is a linux (or windows if need be) tool that can provide read-only access to a sparse image format. Something like this already exists for dmg (http://hem.bredband.net/catacombae/dmgx.html) but, as I say, it baulks at sparse dmgs.

So if shirt-pocket wished to address the problem then perhaps providing such a tool would be the way to go. But I realise that a) you've all got a billion other features to work on first and b) I may be the only user who has such a requirement (in which case ignoring me is not only sensible but essential, to avoid wasting time).

Donald I.

09-19-2007, 05:31 PM
If you'd like, you can create a read/write DMG using Disk Utility and point SD! at that mounted image. We're more than happy to copy to it, and if your Linux box can read that, it might be a reasonable workaround for you.

I hate saying "no", but providing a tool to read Apple's images under Linux, though, is not something we're likely to do -- it's just not something that's been requested, and would appeal to a very, very small segment of our market...