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Old 12-03-2017, 01:18 AM   #1
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Backup software for Linux

Is there a good Linux equivalent for Acronis True Image? I use ATI for backuping windows machines and I need to bakup also Red Hat Linux machines. I know about toptions for disk cloning, but I prefer solution with backup images that can be used for restore if necessary.

Thank you.
Old 12-03-2017, 04:08 AM   #2
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clonezilla is nr. 1 - that's linux for sure.
sooner or later you'll bump into rsync; it seems to be the undisputed nr. 1 backup software under linux. graphical frontends exist.
Old 12-03-2017, 04:34 AM   #3
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Old 12-03-2017, 05:41 AM   #4
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For home use:

I tell you my procedure.

Optical Drive
UASP USB 3.0 case + Drive with same size as in use.

I have the following cycle for backups.


I bootup sysrescue cd, setup the external disc as the internal disc according to the gentoo handbook. Includes partition, lvm2, luks, ext4 fs.

Basic backup command is: cp -avr ... ...

Than i turn off my box. swap the drives. give the internal notebook drive on my shelf, and mount the ssd from my external uasp usb 3.0 case in my notebook, reboot sysrescue-cd and redo the grub stage, as uefi has a bug to forget grub bootlaoder mappings.


*) Backup can be instantly be used, just replacing the drives and redo the grub stage, because uefi forgets grub.
*) Instantly check if backup worked, because backup SSD is beeing used, and source drive is put on the shelf
*) hardly an error that source and destination is mixed up, because I use LVM2, and therefore the volumes are named with a human readable name, and not with a gibberish sda2 sdb4 ... no way to mix up source and destination, and to mix up source and destination and to nuke both.
*) no complicated rsync, rdiffbackups and all other compliaced scripts. just plain cp.
*) no fragmentation, as I redo the ext4 fs everytime for my backup drive. It's faster to create a new ext4 filesystem as to delete it
*) takes for ~60GB all in one Gentoo, less than 20 minutes for SSD => UASP USB 3.0 SSD. Basically a shower and you are done.
*) Clear file backup, no gibberish data format like acronis true image, which can not be read without specialistic software.
*) Cycle of 3 drives. Even when a mistake is made because you do not use lvm2, the 3rd drive has some older version available. Recently it's more costly, because SSDs for 120 or 128GB rise by 20 Euros over a year.
*) Clear to understand what is beeing done. How it is done. Quite simple. Just follow the gentoo handbook to create the disks, than it is just a cp command.
*) I sometimes find old data during the cp stage, so I can delete it later.

Optical drive, systemrescue-cd, +2 extra drives same size as in use, recommend to buy different brand and manufacturing date


When you use redhat, you should use lvm2, and than you should use the snapshot feature.

Also I consider only full disc backup as a backup. It depends if you want to backup just user data or hole disc.

Last edited by _roman_; 12-03-2017 at 05:43 AM.
Old 12-03-2017, 10:54 AM   #5
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Thank you for your replies. I prefer to make backups images because usually there is a some kind of compression. I have 2 Tb drive on which I save backup images from different machines (home laptop, home desktop, business laptop...). I will check clonezilla first.
Thanks again.
Old 12-03-2017, 02:28 PM   #6
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Some file formats are already compressed and trying to compress them a second time won't make them smaller and may increase the size. So it is usually best to compress before archiving.
Old 12-03-2017, 08:53 PM   #7
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I use rsync. It took me a bit of research and experimentation to get the right syntax, but it works very nicely.

rsync -a /path/to/source/directory [username]@[ip address of target computer]:/path/to/target/directory
I have heard that Back In Time is good GUI front end for rysnc.

Last edited by frankbell; 12-03-2017 at 08:54 PM.
Old 12-03-2017, 09:15 PM   #8
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My favourite is rdiff-backup from

It uses rsync-like syntax (and uses librsync as its back end) but whenever possible, it produces diffs of files that have not changed much since the previous backup. It has a bunch of great recovery options, as well.

The thing about using plain-old rsync is that it doesn't have a built-in sense of history; if you backup `foo` on day 1 and then change `foo` and back it up again on day 2, then the only version of foo that you have in your backups is the day 2 version. That fails pretty badly when day 2's version is either wrong or corrupted.

I've been using rdiff-backup for well over 3 years for all my backups. No complaints, and quite a few success stories of when it has rescued me from some pretty bad stuff-ups.
Old 12-03-2017, 11:59 PM   #9
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You might take a look at rsnapshot. It uses rsync and retains as many backups as you wish. You schedule the backups by running cron jobs, so you can use as complicated a schedule as you wish. It copies the files and does not compress them. Using hard links it probably uses less space than compressed backups. Additionally, since the files are simply copied (if they have changed) restoration is simple and totally under your control. You can restore a single file or a whole disk or anything in between, just copy the files from the appropriate backup. I have a LAN with several computers. One I have reserved for a backup machine and it backs up all the rest to a 4TB drive that can be removed and replaced any time I wish. As a matter of fact, my backup server is a raspberry pi (talk about low cost) but it certainly seems reliable. If I wanted to I could certainly use a much smaller storage device and periodically swap it out and store it off site.
Old 12-04-2017, 06:11 AM   #10
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As you can see from the above, rsync is what is behind most back up solutions, so worth getting to know.
Old 12-04-2017, 08:08 AM   #11
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I use Clonezilla to backup my system and data.

For partitions where the file system(s) cannot be read, Clonezilla will use the dd command to do a "raw" copy of the partition(s).

Last edited by jsbjsb001; 12-04-2017 at 08:18 AM. Reason: Corrections...
Old 12-04-2017, 11:55 AM   #12
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+1 for snapshot.

As a matter of fact, rsnapshot is rsync+. It uses rsync, but by smart use of hard links you build a history. The amount of history is configurable.

Restoration is by copying individual files or rsyncing. The fun part is, if you look at a certain backup, it is completely transparent for the user that it actually consists of multiple backups over a period of time.

I use 2 USB hard disks which I periodically swap. One for off-site storage. Always have one backup off-site. If your office burns down, floods or is robbed you need it. Data is incredibly valuable.

Old 12-06-2017, 04:22 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
As you can see from the above, rsync is what is behind most back up solutions, so worth getting to know.
indeed, I'm not familiar with it, but I'll do a research. Like I said, option to copy the whole disk is very unpractical for me, as I use one external drive to store backup images of different personal and business computers.

Thank you all for your suggestions.
Old 12-07-2017, 01:20 AM   #14
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Ubuntu 7.0 an ancient Linux version, but this version has a built-in GUI interface for backup and works really well.

I am not sure why future versions did not include this functionality.

Rsync is way to go as other suggested.

Or you can try Amanda also.

Last edited by JJJCR; 12-10-2017 at 10:08 PM. Reason: edit
Old 12-09-2017, 09:38 AM   #15
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I thank my lucky stars I never have to go through all that hassle every time I want to perform backups in 'Puppy'.

The way Pup's set-up, using either a save-file or a save-folder, which is layered into Pup's virtual ramdisk at boot-time via the aufs system, all that's required is to do a simple copy/paste on the save-file/folder to an external HDD or USB flashdrive.

When you want to roll back to an earlier configuration, just delete the existing one, and replace with the older version.

Couldn't be easier.


Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 12-09-2017 at 09:42 AM.


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