Little Backup Box: a handful of improvements and a dash of PHP

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My every Little Backup Box improvement project starts with the same thought, It does the job but... This time around I wanted to fix and improve several things. Firstly, since the DLNA feature wasn't working at all, I removed it altogether a while ago. Subsequently, I missed the ability to browse and view freshly backed up photos on many occasions. Secondly, I'm not a big fan of Python. There is no particular reason for that, I just never really warmed up to the language. On the other hand, PHP has always been my personal favorite and go-to scripting language, no matter what some professional developers think of it. So I wanted to swap the Python-based Little Backup Box web interface with a simpler, and arguably more elegant, version written in PHP. Finally, Little Backup Box theoretically can be installed on any Linux machine running a Debian-based Linux distribution. But due to some values hard-wired in the scripts, deploying Little Backup Box on any system other than Raspbian requires some manual tweaking. This is something I wanted to fix as well.

It actually took me less time to fix all the issues than I anticipated, so I managed to have a new version ready on my birthday. To sum up, here is what's new in the new release:

  • It's now possible to specify a user name that is different from the default user pi. To do this, install Little Backup Box using the bash <(curl -sSL https://is.gd/littlebackupbox) USER command (replace USER with the actual user name that exists on the target system). You still need to check the name of the storage device on your specific system and manually modify the STORAGE_DEV variable in the card-backup.sh and minidlna.sh scripts accordingly.
  • The Remote control web interface is a simple PHP script served by the PHP built-in server on port 8000. A dedicated System info page provides useful system information.
  • Since I haven't used the Device backup mode at all, I removed it.
  • The DLNA server part has been reintroduced. It uses the minidlna software. The server can be activated using the DLNA SERVER button in the Remote control web interface.

You'll find the latest version of Little Backup Box on GitHub. The Linux Photography book provides in-depth information on installing, configuring, and using Little Backup Box.