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Flyback: Time Machine for Linux, Mostly

Flyback: Time Machine for Linux, Mostly

by , 4:25 PM EST, November 7th, 2007

Some members of the Open Source community have taken such a shine to Time Machine, they have been working on bringing the feature to Linux, even while some Mac users are complaining about problems with the technology. Dubbed Flyback, the project has been working on developing an rsync-based GUI solution for Linux with Time Machine as the model.

Flyback lacks the OpenGL-based 3D effects of Time Machine, as well as many of the features of Apple's solution. The developers' focus has instead been on the principle purpose of Time Machine, which is snapshot-based backups that allow you to revisit previous incarnations of your hard drive.

An interesting aspect of the project is the fact that an Apple technology is being looked on with admiration from at least some quarters of the Open Source community. On the Flyback site at Google Code, the About section said, "Apple's Time Machine is a great feature in their OS, adding that Linux has "almost all of the required technology" already built in to recreate it.

In a thread at Slashdot on Flyback, much of the discussion has centered around how important Apple's GUI for Time Machine is to making it a good product.

In that discussion, for instance, slashdot member "robot love" noted, "I realize the interface doesn't do the heavy lifting in an application, but I wish the FLOSS crowd would finally clue in to the fact that ease-of-use matters."

The rest of the discussion on this issue shows some of the changes in the way some perceptions about Apple and Mac OS X have begun to shift in a positive direction in recent years.

While researching for this article, we also found a based on Time Machine principles at In that article, the author wrote that Time Machine itself harkens back to Linux techniques written about some ten years ago by Mike Rubel.

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