My method for storing files

Generally I like to have my files in one of four places. Work, Storage, Dropbox or the Archives.

Work

  • About 25 GB EXT4 partition from the fast system SSD drive
  • Mount point: /work
  • Temporary space, usually for work-in-progress projects that benefit from the speed of the SSD partition, like large EXR sequences. After the project is done, it goes backed up to Archives. When I get a new larger SSD, Dropbox will be located here as well.

Storage

  • A large 3 TB NTFS hard disk partition
  • Mount point: /storage
  • The Storage HDD partition includes Dropbox, that has any current files or projects I’m working on (in addition to the Work partition). Finished stuff goes backed up to Archives. Storage also includes some miscellaneous files I’ve collected over the years, like unsorted inspirational images and videos from other artists.
  • My default location for Dropbox in all distros is always /storage/Dropbox — after installing a new distro only thing that’s needed is to just link the Dropbox application to this folder. No downloading of the files needed.
  • I have it as the NTFS file system, so it doubles as a link between Windows and the Linuxes.

Archives

Archived old and finished projects and other files. They will get duplicated onto multiple archive HDDs. More about this below.

Any stuff I have elsewhere I consider temporary, because I often like to wipe my system disk to start from beginning and install operating systems from scratch. Here’s an article I wrote about Setting up a multi-boot of 5 Linux distributions.

Symbolic links

Only some of the software settings are located in my Home-folder, but also those I regularly copy to my Dropbox. For some other settings I’m having symbolic links pointing from the config in the Home folder (~/.config/) to the settings folders in Dropbox (the ~ symbol means your Home folder, in my case it’s /home/mj/ ). Do this by holding Ctrl and Shift while dragging (in most distros, not in all) from the Dropbox to config. This is especially useful for fonts, you can just drag your fonts-folder from Dropbox library to ~/.fonts (make the .fonts folder if it isn’t there already) to make a symbolic link and by so the fonts will show up in Gimp, Krita, Libreoffice and other software immediately or after restarting them.

Alternatively for fonts, you may want to use FontyPython font manager, for example — in order to only install specific font collections specific to your project. Find it from your software center. Sometimes it doesn’t work, though — then I use the regular Font Manager. For viewing single .otf or .ttf files I use Font Viewer. Install them with:

sudo apt install font-manager gnome-font-viewer

One good source for getting free fonts even for commercial use is Fontsquirrel and Google Fonts.

Dragging a symbolic link from Drobox to ~/.config/blender by holding Ctrl + Shift. (Before that, the original 2.77 folder was renamed to “2.77_original”.)

You can do the same thing in a terminal window/emulator or shell or console application with the make links command: ln -s [original] [link]

Using the ln (make links) and ls (list) commands in command line

Use terminal, it’s fun :) If you’re interested, I’m writing a Learning some basic terminal commands article. It’s constantly updated.

Dropbox

My Dropbox folder includes:

  • Incoming (Unsorted saved media to reference folder)
  • Reference (Sorted media of moodboards, references, composition, color, inspiration, …)
  • Documents (Hour lists, misc documents, …)
  • Camera Uploads (Unsorted incoming photos from phone)
  • Photos (Sorted photos)
  • Library (General .blend-files, assets, brushes, textures, fonts, versions of my websites, …)
  • Settings (Blender, Krita, Gimp, scripts, avatars, wallpapers, …)
  • Projects (Current projects I’m working on. Finished ones go to Archives)

The projects are named like:
2015–12_[project_name]
2016–01_[project_name]
2016–04_[project_name]
2016–07_[project_name]

In order to list nicely and to be easy to find from the archives after many years have passed.

More about Archives

Here’s a nice story about backups.

After I finish a project, I move it from Dropbox to HDD disk ‘cassettes’, that are just normal bare large leftover or new hard drives that I control with a fast USB3 HDD dock (both the disks and the dock are actually relatively cheap).

Then I use LuckyBackup (Linux) or Syncback (Windows) to sync the contents to other disks to make sure there are many copies of a single project. These software make sure all the disks have the same data and only new or changed files are transferred, which makes the process relatively fast.

I also utilize old hard drives for this (like old 500 GB ones), so one project might have a copy of it in even 4 different places in some cases. I recommend keeping these disks in separate physical places (in case of fire, theft, etc.).

It is a good idea to order some of those plastic cases for the HDD’s from Amazon or somewhere (this, this, this, this, this, or this, for example).

The same identical files in the “500 GB PRODUCTION 2000–2007” disk can be found in all of the ALL DATA disks as well. Just for the sake of duplication if one of the disks break.

Archive HDDs

Cheers!