Backup system

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Chriske
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Backup system

Post by Chriske » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:31 am

Hi,
Ditched already 6 Win-os...and replaced it with Linux.
Using Windows I always made my own backup using Norton-Ghost. For me -in Win-os- the best tool ever. If needed I had all my PC's recovered in a matter of minutes, even when OS completely crashed. The only OS not supported by Ghost is W10.
Anyway, Is there a tool for Linux that can do exactly the same as Ghost does. iow recover a boot partition stationed on another partition or ext. HD...?
I'm running all Mint 18.3 and one Mint 19.

Maybe, just maybe I mentioned it before, but I'd like to say it again.: This forum is awsome...! :mrgreen:

Mattyboy
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Re: Backup system

Post by Mattyboy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:42 pm

Timeshift will back up your system, its installed in both 18.3 and 19.

What it won't do is back up your files and .configs in your /home folder. There's lots of options and opinions of this so I'll leave to to others.

Its probably old skool but I just use rsync on any /home folders I want to keep a back up of, it's never let me down.

You're going to need, at least, a separate partition or preferably drive to effectively use these and any back up method.

Chriske
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Re: Backup system

Post by Chriske » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:59 pm

Hey thanks for the reply..

It's obvious that it will not backup files, As matter of fact that is not the purpose of such a system. It's just the OS itself I'd want to backup.
What exactly do you mean by it will not backup your configs..?

Mattyboy
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Re: Backup system

Post by Mattyboy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:10 pm

Chriske wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:59 pm
Hey thanks for the reply..

It's obvious that it will not backup files, As matter of fact that is not the purpose of such a system. It's just the OS itself I'd want to backup.
What exactly do you mean by it will not backup your configs..?
Basically.....:).....

The system is divided into two. /root and /home.

/root contains the operating system and all the programs you install. The programs sit there in a 'fresh out the box' state. Timeshift will back this up.

/home contains all your ( or another user who has their own /home folder ) configuration files for each program. Say, for example you set VLC media player to always play with subtitles, this configuration will be stored in the VLC config file that's stored in your /home folder. Another users /home folder will hold a different configuration file for VLC.

To see what I mean go to your /home folder and press ctrl + h.

Chriske
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Re: Backup system

Post by Chriske » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:30 pm

So after all users have set they're preferences, and at that point I make a backup, will these settings be embedded in the backup or not..?

In the past when I installed a Win and every user 'has done it's thing', well all these settings are stored in the backup. Of course when I recover a OS with Ghost all settings made after the backup is made are lost.
My trick to keep a backup 'clean' and most of all 'up to date' : When a user wants to install some software I first restore that PC, immediately after the restore all necessary software is installed, and again immediately after installation of that new software a new backup is made.

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AndyMH
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Re: Backup system

Post by AndyMH » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:38 pm

You want something that does what norton ghost did, then you are looking at tools like:
  • clonezilla, or
  • redo
Both are image backup tools, backing up whatever partitions you've got. Personally, I use redo - search on web, download the iso, burn to either CD or USB and boot from that. Easy to use, it's based on ubuntu 12.04. If you go for USB, then you can either use the built-in 'USB image writer' or download and install makeUSB. The built-in tool creates read-only bootable USB sticks, with makeUSB you can make them 'persistent, live', ie read/write. I use makeUSB.

That by itself, is not enough. On my system, the root partition takes about 10mins to backup, the /home partition about an hour - you are not going to do this every day. This is where two other tools come into play (both in the software manager), both backup individual files:
  • Timeshift - as already mentioned, this by default backs up your system files, i.e. root. It will only backup to an ext4 formatted disk.
  • Backintime - by default this backs up /home, i.e. your data.
The advantage of these two are that they are both front ends for rsync, the first time you run they backup everything, next time round they only copy what is new or changed - so quick. They also preserve a history, so you could restore from yesterday or maybe two weeks ago.

I use all three, redo about once a month, with timeshift and backintime set to automatically backup daily (to a 1TB HDD in my laptop specifically as a backup drive).

You can't have too many backups, and all three have saved me on the various occasions that I've borked my system.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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slipstick
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Re: Backup system

Post by slipstick » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:44 pm

TimeShift on LM 18.3 will, by default, not backup the hidden (configuration) files in your home directory. This is very easy to change by using the "Settings" tab in TimeShift - click the "Users" tab and you can select "Exclude All", "Include Hidden", or "Include All" for both user and root home directories. There has been some debate on the forum about whether it is best to include or not include these configuration files. I include the hidden files, but also back them up along with all my personal data files using Back-in-Time.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they ain't.

Mattyboy
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Re: Backup system

Post by Mattyboy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:59 pm

Chriske wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:30 pm
So after all users have set they're preferences, and at that point I make a backup, will these settings be embedded in the backup or not..?

In the past when I installed a Win and every user 'has done it's thing', well all these settings are stored in the backup. Of course when I recover a OS with Ghost all settings made after the backup is made are lost.
My trick to keep a backup 'clean' and most of all 'up to date' : When a user wants to install some software I first restore that PC, immediately after the restore all necessary software is installed, and again immediately after installation of that new software a new backup is made.
Timeshift will only backup /root so no your /home config files or another users .config files won't be backed up.

/root ( in theory ) is always 'clean'. Its one of the reasons Linux or any UNIX based system ( Apple ) are so secure.

Standard users can't install software only the ADMIN or /root user can do that, usually with the sudo command or by running the software manager or synaptic and it always requires the root password.

All users then have the right to use the program ( providing it doesn't require the root password to run ) but they cannot remove it or install another one, but they can configure it because they have their own config files stored in their own /home folder.

If the admin /root user adds a program or deletes it Timeshift will back up those changes, because its a change in /root not a /home folder.

Confused yet? :lol:

Linux simply isn't Windows, for that we should be grateful. Given time it'll all make sense and you'll come to appreciate just how great it is.

Hope that helps :)

Mattyboy
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Re: Backup system

Post by Mattyboy » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:02 pm

slipstick wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:44 pm
TimeShift on LM 18.3 will, by default, not backup the hidden (configuration) files in your home directory. This is very easy to change by using the "Settings" tab in TimeShift - click the "Users" tab and you can select "Exclude All", "Include Hidden", or "Include All" for both user and root home directories. There has been some debate on the forum about whether it is best to include or not include these configuration files. I include the hidden files, but also back them up along with all my personal data files using Back-in-Time.
I stand corrected. Never bothered looking at those /home settings in TS.

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