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Old 08-24-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
cygpen
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Question How to backup entire system to a disc



Now that I have my Ubuntu 11.04 the way I want it - I would hate to
loose my programs/settings in an emergency.
I want to backup the entire system to a DVD-R disc. Is this possible?
If it is, please furnish step-by-step instructions on how to do this.
If it involves a program - I prefer GUI interface if available.
Thank you for your help
 
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #2
Tinkster
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There's for example partition image ...

Or you could brute-force it (if you have lots of RAM or a separate
CD/DVD reader and writer, and a staging disk):

dd if=/dev/<your HDDs device node here> bs=2048 | gzip > /path/to/mounted/staging_disk/hdd.img

Last edited by Tinkster; 08-24-2011 at 07:45 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
FredGSanford
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Clonezilla...

***EDIT***

Sorry.

http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live-doc.php

Last edited by FredGSanford; 08-24-2011 at 07:59 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2011, 07:56 PM   #4
cygpen
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Sorry - maybe I wasn't explicit enough. I very recently migrated to Ubuntu 11.04
from Vista. So your replies, while probably helpful to someone knowledgeable
with Linux - really did not help me any. I just want step - by - step instructions on how to backup my system. Thank you for any help.
 
Old 08-24-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
cygpen
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Thank you - the Clonezilla looked very promising until I read how complicated it
was to download it.
I (after reading all of the replies) have come to the conclusion that it would be
easier (for me) just to make notations of my settings and to start from scratch if anything happens, Thank you all for your help.
 
Old 08-24-2011, 08:46 PM   #6
frankbell
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You would likely not fit your entire system on a disk.

Here's what's important to back up. You may not yet understand all the terminology I will use below. Six years ago, I wouldn't have understood it either.

About dot com had a good section on Linux. I would suggest you start with the "Linux Desktop 101" section.

http://linux.about.com/

Back up the following:

Any non-hidden files in your home folder (hidden files and folders are preceded by a period).

Any hidden files in your home folder that you have configured. For example, I use Fluxbox as a window manager. I would therefore backup the contents in my /home/[username]/.fluxbox folder, because I have customized the menu and startup files.

Any hidden files in your home directory that contain data (as oppsed to configuration information). I use Opera as my email client, so I would backup my /home/.opera directory, which would catch my mail store, my RSS feeds, my bookmarks, etc. I would also back up my LibreOffice templates, since I have also configured these.

Any global configuration files in /etc which you have configured. I have a configuration file for my Samba server (file sharing program) which I have perfected to my needs over the years. Therefore I would back up /etc/samba/smb.conf, which is the name of that file.

Following that strategy, you can reinstall from scratch and restore the items you have configured and quickly get your system back to its configured state.

Last edited by frankbell; 08-24-2011 at 08:47 PM.
 
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:01 PM   #7
taylorkh
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Quote:
I (after reading all of the replies) have come to the conclusion that it would be
easier (for me) just to make notations of my settings and to start from scratch if anything happens
Don't get discouraged cygpen. Learning to backup your system can teach you a lot about Linux and will place you far ahead of the vast majority of uses (of Linux, Windows, Mac or anything else) who do not even realize the need to backup their systems.

If you think about it there are two things on your PC which you might want to backup. The operating system (with programs, configuration settings etc.) and your DATA. I consider DATA to be much more important. I can always reinstall the OS and programs and screw around with the settings to get it to something like I had before. However, if I loose my DATA - well that might be impossible to recreate. I am quite anal about backing up my data and over the 29 years I have been using micro computers I have not lost very much. Sometimes it may take me a while to find something but I probably have a copy of it on CD or DVD.

I am not going to write out a 10 page post on how to step by step backup a system and data including all the possible permutations and methods. However, if you wish I would be glad to work with you step by step on performing a backup and restore of YOUR system. If we carry out the discussion on this forum perhaps it will be of help to others and will no doubt benefit from some additional kibitzing and advise.

If you wish to give this a try, the first thing to do would be for you to post some information about your PC and what you plan to do with it. How big is the hard drive? Do have more than 1 hard drive? or an external hard drive available? or even a large USB flash drive? Is your PC networked to another PC? That presents a lot of options for backup from one PC to the other.

Regards,

Ken

p.s. Documenting your settings as you make them is also a GREAT idea. I try and keep a build log when I do a new installation. I record what options I make during the OS install, what software I add, various tweaks I make etc. I then try and keep the log updated as I use the system although I am generally not so good at doing that. But at least if I have to start over from scratch I have something to go by.
 
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #8
j1alu
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Have a look at remastersys. Its rather easy to follow
I did it once, but as i run Debian i use "live-helper" for that purpose.
Both tools are quite similar, and the result will be an installable live-CD or DVD of your current system.
You need to figure out how to exclude data files in case you got a lot of them (Music, Video, Documents).
http://www.ubuntugeek.com/create-cus...in-karmic.html


Like mentioned above: if you got your hidden configuration files saved ( /home/your_name/.all_starting_with_a_dot ),
you already saved a lot of work in case your system will break.
one example would be: rsync -ruv --delete /home/yourname/.[a-zA-Z0-9]* /root/Backup
(root/Backup is obviously anything but perfect, an USB-stick would be good)
/etc is quite important and useful too, like said above, but the home-configs are really a big help.

The best is a separate partition and a full backup with rsync, imho (and much better are two separate partitions).
Have a look at deja-dup, luckybackup and grsync. To me deja-dup looks most intuitive of those three
(if i am not wrong all three are backends to rsync).
 
Old 08-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
cygpen
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Taylorkh
Thank you very much for your kind offer. I have an e-machine, model T5274a. It came with Vista installed, however
after the last batch of Windows updates - I got the proverbial blue screen. Nothing I tried worked, Fortunately, I
had an Ubuntu installation disc - and that worked (thank goodness for Linux). I did not partition or anything else.

According to the 'disc usage analyzer' I still have 286.6 GB of available space (I guess the remaining space that I
had on this PC - is still being taken up by Vista or??).

As for what I plan to do with this PC -just the basic - email, surfing the web, shopping on the web, occasional games. The only things I use in the "libre office suite" are the templates and the writer. I only play CD's -
I never burn them.

I hope this information helps you. I do admit that after my experiance with loosing Vista - I am super aware of
the need for backups, etc. Thank you again for your help.
 
Old 08-25-2011, 01:17 PM   #10
chickenjoy
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copying everything (even hidden files) in your home folder to an external storage usually helps a lot. Its very easy to do.
 
Old 08-25-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
frankbell
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Chickenjoy is correct.

Since I have a one terabyte partition on an external HDD on my file server, I commonly back up whenever I have made significant changes to my primary computer (this here laptop) with rsync. This string works for me:

Code:
rsync -arv /home/[username] [username]@[ipaddress]:/[absolute-path-to-target-directory]
If I would have to restore to a new install, I would restore only the items described in my previous post after completing the install.
 
Old 08-26-2011, 12:17 PM   #12
taylorkh
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The e-machine, model T5274a is advertised with a 320 GB drive. If this is what you have I suspect that the Linux install wiped out the Vista files. Here are a couple of steps to find out exactly where and how your disk space is being used. They are command line activities but that is where the power of Linux is. Not to worry though. The hardest part may be to simply launch a terminal. If you are using the Unity interface - a big line of large icons which scroll up and down the right side of the screen - you will have to poke around and find the launcher for "Terminal". If you are using the old style Gnome interface with a menu on the top left you will find it under Applications; Accessories; Terminal. Once you get that started here are the two commands:
Quote:
df -h
This command displays the "disk free" space and the -h makes it more "human readable". Try it without the -h and you will see what I mean. M(bytes) and G(bytes) make more sense than large numbers of blocks.

The second command is
Quote:
sudo fdisk -l
This command will require you to enter the password for the administrator (which if you have only your account on the PC would be you). -l tells the fdisk program to list the partition information for your hard drive or drives.

Please post the results of the two commands. That is easy to do. Start at the upper left of the text in the terminal and drag your mouse down and to the right. Once you have highlighted the desired test simply right-click and choose Copy. You can then right click and copy the information into forum.

Ken
 
Old 08-26-2011, 12:39 PM   #13
cygpen
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/dev/loop0 97M 5.6M 87M 7% /var/spool/havp
/home/mary/.Private 292G 5.3G 272G 2% /home/mary
mary@MARYS-PC:~$ sudo fdisk -1
[sudo] password for mary:
fdisk: invalid option -- '1'

Usage:
fdisk [options] <disk> change partition table
fdisk [options] -l <disk> list partition table(s)
fdisk -s <partition> give partition size(s) in blocks
Thank you big time!!!!
Options:
-b <size> sector size (512, 1024, 2048 or 4096)
-c switch off DOS-compatible mode
-h print help
-u <size> give sizes in sectors instead of cylinders
-v print version
-C <number> specify the number of cylinders
-H <number> specify the number of heads
-S <number> specify the number of sectors per track
 
Old 08-26-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
taylorkh
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sudo fdisk -l (lower case L)

Ken
 
Old 08-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #15
cygpen
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Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x0008c3d5

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 38654 310481920 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 38654 38914 2086913 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 38654 38914 2086912 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/dm-0: 2136 MB, 2136997888 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 259 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xaaa3d79b

Disk /dev/dm-0 doesn't contain a valid partition table
Sorry about that
 
  


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