Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

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SDatl404
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Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by SDatl404 »

I just switched over from windows 7 to linux. I was using acronis true image 12 to do automatic nightly images of my drive on to a NAS.

Is there any software for linux that can do this? If so what would you recommend?

Thanks :D
hhead
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by hhead »

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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

Automatic - not really.
Manual - Clonezilla or qt4-fsarchiver.

Gerd50 has a good how-to on fsarchiver here:

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=197&t=89189

Nothing in Linux is half as good as Acronis though (I know this because my wife uses it on her windows machine). Fsarchiver is the closest it comes.
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SDatl404
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by SDatl404 »

Viking... you're correct on the qt4-fsarchiver it's definitely the best one so far.

Just a quick question. If I was going to do a back up of my current drive I notice there are two partitions. sda1 and sda5.

sda1 is 400+gigs
sda5 is 8gigs

Do I need to backup of both of these? If I had a drive failure would I have to reinstall linux on a new hd, boot from a live cd, and copy just the large partition backup to the new drive?

Thanks!
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

SDatl404 wrote:Viking... you're correct on the qt4-fsarchiver it's definitely the best one so far.

Just a quick question. If I was going to do a back up of my current drive I notice there are two partitions. sda1 and sda5.

sda1 is 400+gigs
sda5 is 8gigs

Do I need to backup of both of these? If I had a drive failure would I have to reinstall linux on a new hd, boot from a live cd, and copy just the large partition backup to the new drive?

Thanks!
That depends on what is on sda5 doesn't it? You tell me and I might be able to answer.
One word of warning though if your 400Gb partition is fairly full it will take a long time to image. Qt4-fsarchiver is good but nobody would accuse it of being quick :lol: For example the largest partition I have has 12Gb of data on it and it takes 22 minutes to image it. Clonezilla does it in about half that time and I am sure that Acronis would do it in about 5 minutes if it were capable of it. I still prefer fsarchiver though because you don't have to reboot in order to use it (in fact it even carries out 'live' backups ie. it images the distro you are using although I don't do that myself)
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SDatl404
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by SDatl404 »

I tried backup up sd5 which is a linux swap or something like that and it threw an error.

I did backup my large main partition that and it def wasn't fast... lol

I tried using clonezilla, but I backup to a network drive and using it is a serious PITA when you can't browse directories and such.

Anyhow, I am disappointed in the selection of backup software :( Makes linux as a primary desktop OS difficult.
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

I tried backup up sd5 which is a linux swap or something like that and it threw an error.
It would, there is absolutely no need to back up a swap file, you can just recreate it after reinstalling the backup of your main partition.
Anyhow, I am disappointed in the selection of backup software :( Makes linux as a primary desktop OS difficult.
I agree with the first statement though not the second.

Sadly the majority of the people that write and use Linux are these days far more interested in form over function. Search any forum you like and you will see 1000's of posts about 'themes', desktop wallpapers', wobbly winodws, compiz effects and such like, whereas you will hardly ever see a thread about why Linux imaging software is 20 years behind Windows equivalents. This display of priorities is just a reflection of society as a whole and probably a prelude to the complete collapse of the western world as happened with most other advanced societies in the past, but that is a bit too political really.

The reasons I don't agree with you second statement are legion, it is easier to live with second-rate imaging software than to live with product lock-ins, OS slowdowns, viruses, spyware, bloatware and the rest of the crap that afflicts the alternatives.

With Linux it is your choice, with the other alternatives, choice is not a concept they embrace.
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by antikythera »

@the OP - True Image 12 is probably the best option. As for free alternatives I have never really tried them since Acronis have always done everything how I want it.

It now even supports Ext4 and will compress partition images properly instead of copying sector by sector like it used to in previous versions. So I am migrating my Mint installs to Ext4 gradually but since the only way to do this properly is clean format the partitions it is not high on my list of priorities.

Hardware support is excellent too. If you use the bootable media which runs on unix you don't even have to install a copy under windows. Updated boot cd images are available from the Acronis Support Portal so it is entirely possible to use it on systems without windows and keep it bang up to date.

Of course you won't be able to schedule the backup to run automatically but it is still worth looking at since you already own it ;)
psych
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by psych »

This is a question I asked a year or two ago and nothing has really changed since then, as far as I can tell. Clonezilla was cited as the best option then. Acronis True Image didn't support ext4 then so it was useless and Clonezilla did the trick just fine except it wasn't automatic and I always forgot. I'll look at fsarchiver this time. Appreciate everyone bringing it up.
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

antikythera wrote:@the OP - True Image 12 is probably the best option. As for free alternatives I have never really tried them since Acronis have always done everything how I want it.

It now even supports Ext4 and will compress partition images properly instead of copying sector by sector like it used to in previous versions. So I am migrating my Mint installs to Ext4 gradually but since the only way to do this properly is clean format the partitions it is not high on my list of priorities.

Hardware support is excellent too. If you use the bootable media which runs on unix you don't even have to install a copy under windows. Updated boot cd images are available from the Acronis Support Portal so it is entirely possible to use it on systems without windows and keep it bang up to date.

Of course you won't be able to schedule the backup to run automatically but it is still worth looking at since you already own it ;)
That is interesting, I used to use Acronis to back up Linux a long time ago, but at some point in time, I can't actually remember exactly when, Linux decided to change the default block size on their partitions from whatever it was then to whatever it is now (I can't remember and it doesn't much matter). The point is that at that moment Acronis stopped working as it should and reverted to sector by sector copy which was pretty useless, since amongst other things it meant you could not reinstall a backup into a smaller partition. I contacted their support people at the time and was met with a complete blank, they didn't even know what I was talking about. Interesting to note that you say this behaviour has now changed. However don't feel too complacent, it is very likely that in the near future Linux will change its default block size again (to cope with ever larger hard drives) so you might find the same thing happens and Acronis reverts to once more being fairly useless. It is a gamble you take and one in which you actually invest money not just time.

I must say that in general I am so disenchanted with Linux and imaging software, that I would consider using Acronis again IF - and it is a big if - they properly supported Linux, but they don't, unless you buy their server backup software which costs 100' of £/$.
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antikythera

Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by antikythera »

I never had a problem with restoring ReiserFS or Ext3 partitions. The couple of times I have been in touch with support, they have always resolved the issue within a week. Both times were hardware related, a mouse and a SATA controller respectively. Support for the controller was added to a Boot CD image and rolled out onto the main support site after I verified it worked properly. The only time it ever asked to do sector by sector was on Ext4 partitions in previous builds. The current version supports 4k advanced format drives and also includes partition alignment tools for operating systems which cannot align themselves properly during installation such as windows XP. Incidentally Mint 9 onwards automatically align partitions during install.
SDatl404
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by SDatl404 »

Acronis trueimage 12 works!

This is what I did:

With 2 usb thumb drives

-Download and install the newest version on windows of acronis
-Made a live usb acronis bootable
-Made a live usb linux mint 12 install
-Boot the acronis live usb drive
-Made a backup of the main lm12 partion. Not the small linux page one.
-Booted lm12 live usb and installed linux on a usb hard drive
-Restored the backup to the usb harddrives main linux partion leaving the bootable option on

Boom I was in linux mint 12 from my internal hd on a usb hard drive!

Very happy!
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

I am glad you are happy, but I will repeat this quote again in case you missed it last time:
However don't feel too complacent, it is very likely that in the near future Linux will change its default block size again (to cope with ever larger hard drives) so you might find the same thing happens and Acronis reverts to once more being fairly useless.
antikythera has had no problems with using Acronis which makes it a good option especially if you already own it. But I have had problems with it and those problems were because of changes to block sizes and they were not dealt with by Acronis for a very long time, long enough to force me to change to Clonezilla.
Similar default block size changes are inevitable in the near future and the problem may well recur. Just be prepared for that.

Acronis can be used on Linux but they do not properly support Linux except on their very expensive server software. So if the same problem occurs again it is not likely that you will receive any meaningful support in my experience.
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rhy7s
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by rhy7s »

The Arch wiki usually has good info, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Backup_Programs - for me backing up /home is generally all I want. I don't mind reinstalling the OS if need be.
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

rhy7s wrote:The Arch wiki usually has good info, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Backup_Programs - for me backing up /home is generally all I want. I don't mind reinstalling the OS if need be.
That is fair enough, and Linux is awash with backup programs it is imaging programs that it is desperately short on. In my opinion reinstalling an OS is exceedingly inconvenient compared to reinstalling a disk image.
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mads
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by mads »

Has anybody tried Ghost 4 Linux (also known as g4l)?
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

I have tried them all (in case you haven't guessed I consider this to be an utterly essential question in the linux world that is very poorly addressed). I didn't find g4l to be in the least bit user friendly, a bit like Clonezilla (although it was a long time ago that I tried it). The best at the moment by far is qt4-fsarchiver, but it still leaves a lot to be desired (speed, language translations etc).

I know it is not his 'field' but if someone with the obvious programming skills of our Clem addressed a little bit of his attention to this neglected yet essential field, we would have an equivalent to windows imaging software within 6 months.

I only wish I had the skill to do it, sadly I can hardly write shell scripts never mind imaging software :?
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SDatl404
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by SDatl404 »

Why do you think linux is lagging in the software area so bad?
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viking777
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by viking777 »

It isn't. Only in disk imaging (and maybe gps).

Why is it lagging in those areas?

Well probably because my priorities are different from other peoples. I couldn't give a hoot about what end of the desktop my panel lives, or whether or not my windows 'shiver' as they shut down, or what 'theme' I have, but I care deeply about being able to rapidly and successfully image my operating systems so that I can restore them quickly in the event that I break them.

But you must realise in harbouring thoughts like that I must be seriously disturbed :wink:
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Re: Best backup imaging software for mint 12?

Post by russ553 »

http://redobackup.org/

Haven't used it yet but I have it burned to a cd.

Uses PartClone.
Been there, done that, can't remember.
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