Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

AndyMH wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:26 am
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:47 am
That warning needs work. If you're not supposed to install it on your computer, what are you actually supposed to do with it?
Sorry, not understood.
lol - you offer a software download with a warning to not install it on your computer. That just doesn't make any sense.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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AndyMH
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

There are two ways you can use foxclone:
  • download the iso, burn to usb stick and boot.
  • download the deb, install the deb in your favourite (ubuntu) linux booting from a usb drive (or secondary drive). Use the usb drive as both a boot drive and backup drive. This is how I use foxclone for real. For my laptops - a large usb HDD with mint installed and foxclone installed in it. For my desktop an internal 2TB HDD alongside the main nvme boot drive. The 2TB has mint on it with foxclone and is both a boot and backup drive.
No point installing the foxclone deb in your main system - you can't image backup a live filesystem (or if you can, beyond me).

If you have a better choice of words - happy to consider.
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Larry78723
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Larry78723 »

The "For more information Click Here." link opens a pdf with very specific information on how to use the .deb file.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

Larry78723 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:00 pm
The "For more information Click Here." link opens a pdf with very specific information on how to use the .deb file.
That is far from the point.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

AndyMH wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:39 am
If you have a better choice of words - happy to consider.
'For installation to a persistent live media or secondary OS' makes more sense that "WARNING - DO NOT INSTALL THIS TO YOUR COMPUTER !!!"
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Larry78723 »

Just below the warning it states: "This .deb file is designed to be installed on a large USB drive, typically 1TB or greater, that already has an operating system installed and is intended as a backup drive."

Maybe a better wording for the warning would be "WARNING - do not install to the computer you want to take a backup from"
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:05 am
- trying to make it as idiot proof as possible.
Glad to read that!
Take care, I didn’t have much time, but I’m still here to challenge FoxClone! ;-)

Pls. understand I want to help in improving FoxClone - I’m not looking for potholes, it’s just my fate to ride them.
And I feel each one.

- Btw. v40 still calling home at boot?
Automatically opening network connections makes a bad feeling :x esp. for a security aimed app.
I still have to disconnect before booting FoxClone :evil:
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

Re Warning serial numbers,
AndyMH wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:13 pm
... It uses hdparm to get the S/N (or nvme for nvme drives). USB sticks don't have a serial number, ...
Um.
Isn’t that a bit unfortunate, as most will use FoxClone USB sticks to boot from?
They will see:

- A “Warning” which is no warning at all, on the contrary, it is to be expected in this case (USB boot drive) because of your using hdparm (*), the FoxClone user can not take action against the cause of the "warning".

- The text “Unable to get serial number for sdd” would imply there may be a S/N but it can’t be accessed by FoxClone, hinting at something not working correctly here in FoxClone?

Avoid misleading info at all costs!
[better, but :? : "Sorry, hdparm generally can't read S/Ns from USB sticks"]

What the user won’t see:
- A hint re probable consequences ["if this is your FoxClone boot drive forget this 'warning'"].
The (otherwise excellent) User Guide (V12) has nada, neither in section “Main Window” nor “Troubleshooting”.

Please think of the child… sorry, n00bs. :P

Detail:
Clicking that “Warning” window (not the OK) opens another window behind itself, “Reading drives”, that seems stuck? Also OK is funny, strange for the Linux n00b:
(With 2 USB sticks the second “Warning” window behaves conventionally.)
- The cursor doesn’t indicate “system busy” (2.2 sec silence here), but that seems to be a Linux normal?

(*) Using Disks we see that USB sticks do have serial numbers, likely hdparm shouldn’t be consulted here.
However, sometimes Disks reports different S/Ns as hdparm with USB rotating drives (e.g. WD, Freecom).
Disks seems to use the same S/Ns as reported by usb-devices or sudo lsusb -v.
[Rem: Make sure to use “sudo” with lsusb -v, it won’t tell you that the output is useless otherwise ...]
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

Funny small issue:
I’ve (v40) cloned 4 partitions to my test drive, each one holding a copy of a Linux Mint User Guide.
Still in FoxClone I mounted such a partition using Disks, double click it on the Desktop, see “Mint User Guide.pdf” in the FM, nice.

However, a double-click will open the FoxClone User Guide … ??

Looking at the properties of the Mint User Guide pdf, it is linked to “Open with: User guide” but likely should be the “Document Viewer” instead?
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

Re: Not having a partition table.
AndyMH wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:51 am
From what you are saying foxclone is crashing?
I was using a brand new external 500GB (SSD) USB test drive, just ntfs formatted by Disks == no partition table.
A partclone.restore to it was successful.

Now trying FoxClone:
***** No partition table
*** Drive: sde, … 500GB, has a file system but no partition table.
*** It will not be used by FoxClone.

—> Button “OK” will abort FoxClone, not “crash”, but FC can’t even clone to this drive (== write a partition table).

The message says “it will not be used” (hmm) but shoud say “FC will close now” (why?).
So I have to use GParted first (Device-Create Partition Table…) because Disks can’t repair that (?).
- OK, no problem, your decision to close FC completely.

But happy n00b?
A friendly hint would be: “See FoxClone user guide section xyz for more information”,
to read why FoxClone refuses to proceed and how to correct the “problem”.

V12.pdf doesn’t mention this behaviour :?:
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Thinking about modifying the code so you don't get the warning about the S/N on the stick you boot from.

Foxclone quite deliberately checks that a drive has a partition table on it and if it doesn't it won't use it. I have no intentions of changing this. You have found one of the reasons I dislike the disks utility.
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:34 pm
Thinking about modifying the code so you don't get the warning about the S/N on the stick you boot from.
Did you read what I wrote?
To suppress the message will address only the most obvious part of the issue:
No “warning” with the FoxClone boot media (this is where the S/N is of course is not important). Good.

But if a user - by intention - is going to use a USB stick to backup, restore or clone, you’re back at point 1:
What do you want to convey by that message?
I think the message was intended to inform the user about losing a feature of FoxClone when using USB sticks?
AndyMH wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:34 pm
Foxclone quite deliberately checks that a drive has a partition table on it and if it doesn't it won't use it.
Again, please read what I wrote!
I didn’t challenge the decision (*).

It’s the text which is wrong and led to @Noto’s “… and cannot launch the app” and your thinking of “crash”.

In “Drive: x has … no partition table” and “It will not be used by FoxClone” the “it” refers to the “Drive: x”, so it means:
The drive will not be used by FoxClone” -
and not “FoxClone cannot continue and will close”.
Also in your text (quoted above) the first “it” refers to “FoxClone” and the second "it" to the “drive”.

But I’m not here to discuss English grammar with you.
I want to tell you: The message text is both, wrong and misleading.
Please improve it.

(*) Btw. I think it’s wrong, esp. in the given situation at program start, because then FC doesn’t know if and how the particular drive will be tried to use.
AndyMH wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:34 pm
I have no intentions of changing this.
Uh-oh, sounds like a speedy U - turn, doesn’t it? :mrgreen:
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Drugwash »

The extremely stupid Disks application does create partitionless disks. While these are readable in Linux, Windows will treat them as unallocated space. And FoxClone refuses to work with them. What can the poor user do in such situation, if they try to back up their data?
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by AndyMH »

Drugwash wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:26 pm
The extremely stupid Disks application does create partitionless disks. While these are readable in Linux, Windows will treat them as unallocated space. And FoxClone refuses to work with them. What can the poor user do in such situation, if they try to back up their data?
Couldn't agree more, and if you try to use an ext4 partition created in this way with timeshift - it simply won't appear in the list of destinations. Timeshift doesn't like them either, but gives you no warning or reason why. There is very little that disks does that you can't do with gparted, which I think it is better.

Fundamental to foxclone is the assumption that a drive is an object that has a partition table and partitions. To accommodate a partitionless drive would be a significant rewrite. A lot of effort for something I think is bad practice in the first place. So it isn't going to happen, but I will amend the user manual to explain what is happening (and look at the wording of the error message).

Serial numbers - think I've said it previously, introduced serial numbers because foxclone was just using the model name as the unique identifier. If a user had two identical drives in their system, could cause a problem with a restore pointing at the wrong drive. Hence now uses modelname + S/N as the unique identifier. It is relatively easy to block the warning on the usb stick foxclone boots from, but troublesome for any other usb stick plugged in. usb-devices doesn't help, there is no way to relate the output to device sdX that the stick mounts as. I'm reluctant to remove the warning as it may point to a potential issue with a SSD/HDD/NVME drive. If there was a simple way to spot that sdX is a usb stick, I'd do it. Again there is no mention of this warning in the user guide so I will amend it.

Sudo - foxclone doesn't use sudo, it uses pkexec with a custom policy kit.

Document viewer - there is no document viewer in the iso, it is a custom/minimal ubuntu, not mint, and launches the user guide with evince.

Calling home - all it does is enable the network interfaces, nothing more. Just part of the 'standard' ubuntu you get when building with debootstrap. Others have suggested that I include a browser in the iso. Haven't done this to date because it would increase the size of the iso and download.

Nothing will happen quickly, about to go on holiday :D
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by sanmig »

Drugwash wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:26 pm
What can the poor user do in such situation, if they try to back up their data?
That’s exactly my point, information is key.
Foxclone (in it’s current form) can’t backup a drive without partition table, OK, that should be explained.
Mentioned early it could in fact help to prevent mischief.
I can’t see why FoxClone could not restore / clone to such a drive, writing the whole disk.
Again, n00b here.

Disks: I don’t like it because of it’s awkward GUI: Contemporary AND bad (right click, …).
[ Disks has advantages with loop and nbd devices, GParted ignores them ]
GParted: I don’t like it because of it’s GUI: Old fashioned AND bad (e.g. authentication, drive selector).

Mint: Start GParted once and Disks can’t handle extended partitions any more, the only remedy is a reboot (in Ubuntu it’s OK),
so be cautious to suggest GParted in Mint!

Re serial numbers:
No doubt in some situations it’s an advantage to check serial numbers.
But if it is difficult with USB sticks, then be it - that’s not the end.
Suppress the boot stick message: Mandatory.
Information about missing feature, if other USB stick detected: Excellent.

Document viewer - not needed. Wrong function - dangerous. A hammer with broken shaft.

Calling home: Trusting an app to boot my desktop PC with full access to everything is …
Nuff said.
Trust is a burden.
Any network connection is a risk. To open an unneeded Internet connection is insane.
The default must be networking off.
A browser in an image backup device, um … How much is an extra 4GB USB 3.x stick to boot Mint from?
AndyMH wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:21 am
Nothing will happen quickly, about to go on holiday
So happy holidays, take your time, long lasting things are better than quickies! :wink:
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Larry78723 »

The FoxClone website will be down for maintenance tonight from approximately 1-2 am GMT (9-10 pm EST).
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Re: Foxclone - linux image backup, restore & clone

Post by Larry78723 »

The FoxClone website is back on-line.
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