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rsync can be used to do very simple backups: basically, you can use it to make a straight copy of one filesystem onto another filesystem (a backup disk).

The following simple script is enough to backup your home/ directory onto a a spare disk:

sudo rsync \
        --archive \
        --one-file-system \
        --verbose \
        --update \
        --recursive \
        --hard-links \
        --links \
        --delete-before \
        /mnt/backup_disk/ /home/

However, be careful. because of the --delete-before option (or any other similar option), files that are deleted from the /home/ directory will be deleted from the backup, too. This means that if you accidentally delete files in you home directory, they will be deleted in the backup, too, and probably will be deleted before you realise that there was a problem. Thus, you do not have any long term backup safeguard from where to restore old files.

A backup policy based on dar differential backups might be more robust.