Manjaro Linux Lost All Of Their Support Forum Images

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Their misfortune can be used as a valuable lesson in the importance of backing things up on a regular basis. The Manjaro Linux team has lost all of the 378191 images posted on their forum since its inception. How it happened is unclear. What we do know is that they were content with backing up the forums database on a semi-regular basis but they never made a single backup of any user-uploaded content.

written by 윤채경 (Yoon Chae-kyung)  2020-08-13 - last edited 2020-08-13. © CC BY

The Manjaro Linux "pamac" package manager.

Backing things up on a regular basis is a great idea if you value your data. There are many not too expensive options such as external harddrives and cheap cloud storage services available to you if you would like to keep pictures, videos, letters, source code and other valuable data when some unfortunate event occurs. You never know when you will accidentally type rm -rf /home/ by accident or cause a fire by leaving candle-lights in a wooden chamberstick unattended. Thermonuclear explosions may also be a concern depending on where you live.

The Manjaro Linux team did not back their forum images up to an encrypted container that was uploaded to a cloud storage service on a regular basis. They did not make any local backups using external harddrives. They did, in fact, not make any backups of their forums user-uploaded files, not even one. And that is why they had to make this announcement on Twitter:

"Update on forum situation: We failed in recovering the uploads. So far all 378191 are lost. We tried to recover some from, but it seemed not working with the approach we tried. Currently we are discussing how we should bring the forum back online."

ManjaroLinux on Twitter, August 12th, 2020

The Manjaro Linux forum team, lead by newly self-elected treasurer Philip Müller, has made their forums read-only while they decide if they want to re-launch the forum using the old database, which would result in a lot of posts with missing images, or start from scratch. Users in need to help are encouraged to use the manjaro linux mailing list while they decide on a solution.

There is an important lesson to learn from this debacle: Backups are a good idea. That is specially true if you setup some kind of automatic solution using cron.weekly or a systemd timer. You can back things up manually and promise yourself that you'll remember to do that once a week or once a month but there is a fair chance that you'll find that you didn't when disaster inevitably occurs.

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