Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

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Chromie
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Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by Chromie » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:05 am

Under Windows, I use 'imaging' tools like Acronis to back up system partitions. Unlike regular file copies, Acronis saves important positional info, boot records, etc.

Is there a recmmended equivalent for Linux? Someone had mentioned Paragon, but my initial experience with it under Windows was pretty dismal. Perhaps it has improved?

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JoeFootball
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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by JoeFootball » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:31 am

I'm not familiar with the Windows applications you spoke of, but for me, I like to make backup images of every partition on my hard drives.

For this, I use Clonezilla Live, where I shutdown all instances of OS, boot to it from CD/USB, and let it run via its live session. I've used it for years without issue (knock on wood).

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richyrich
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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by richyrich » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:56 am

JoeFootball wrote: I've used it for years without issue..
+1 - I am also a multi-year user of Clonezilla Live.

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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by linuxviolin » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:16 pm

In memory, I guess Acronis supports Linux file systems (at least ext), no? Verify on their web site...
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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by ralplpcr » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:20 pm

While you *can* use Acronis' Universal Image Restore to clone Linux hard disks & partitions, I'll agree that Clonezilla seems to do a better job overall. Acronis works acceptably if you're cloning the *entire* HDD to one of the same size or larger, but it seems to have some issues with GRUB. At least in my experience, cloning partitions can be done just as accurately with rsync, and usually faster.

Acronis works well enough with Windows disk cloning. I've never dealt with the Acronis server backup, however. Most of my usage is in either cloning disks or I'll use rsync to copy & keep the required backups to date.

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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by phd7 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:19 pm

I have qt4-fsarchiver installed on my Multisystem USB stick along with a few other recovery distros.

qt4-fsarchiver is a live ubuntu based distro with a gui based version of fs-archiver (along with some other tools like gparted) for saving compressed copies of the data on partitions. It only saves and compresses the data in the partition and unlike clonezilla where "The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one. " ,the new partition need only be large enough to contain the data saved.

I have used it for years to backup and also to migrate partitions from 1 disk to a new replacement one.

The multisystem USB, by the way, enables you to save an image of a distro you want to install on the hdd. If you use a 16BG stick, you can have a number of live distros on it at the same time. Booting from the USB stick presents you with a grub menu listing the distros you have saved to the USB. This saves wear on the dvd laser.

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JoeFootball
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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by JoeFootball » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:43 pm

phd7 wrote:It only saves and compresses the data in the partition and unlike clonezilla where "The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one. "
For clarity on Clonezilla, it's true that when restoring an image, the restored destination must be equal or larger than the original source was from which the image was created.

That said, the image itself is indeed compressed, and additionally, Clonezilla only backs up the used blocks of the hard drive (unless the source is encrypted, where all the blocks are technically in use). This results in the image being far smaller in size than the original source.

Just making the distinction between the original source, the backup image, and the restored destination, for Clonezilla. :)

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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by Chromie » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:46 am

Thanks to all for the replies. I'll check into the software mentioned.

The nice thing about Acronis is that you can create an OS image while the system is live. No need to boot to a DVD or whatever.

I didn't know that their site mentioned Linux. It appears to be a server product. Unfortunate if it has trouble with Grub, but perhaps they'll get that ironed out.

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Re: Backup/Imaging of Linux system partitions

Post by ralplpcr » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:51 am

Chromie wrote:The nice thing about Acronis is that you can create an OS image while the system is live. No need to boot to a DVD or whatever.

I didn't know that their site mentioned Linux. It appears to be a server product. Unfortunate if it has trouble with Grub, but perhaps they'll get that ironed out.
I've never used the Acronis "Live" system, so I don't know how well that would work. And to be fair, the most recent Acronis boot disk I've used for cloning is a few years old... so the GRUB issue *could* be solved? I haven't tried since I found that Clonezilla does the job for me.

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