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Old 05-16-2005, 05:50 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: debian
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Partition Image backup options


I'm running a Fedora 3 web/ftp/email server, with an identical mirrored machine (mirrors main machine with rsync).
However, I'm having some trouble finding something to create an exact hd image in case something very bad happens and I need to do a bare metal recovery.

Unfortunatly there are soo many dozens of backup tools, I don't really know what's best to use.

Ideally I'd like something that can run on the mirrored machine while the machine is running, and backup the whole hd either to cdr or to a windows share via samba. I don't know if linux will allow an entire partition copy while the os is running off of the same partition? If not, is there any kind of script that can reboot the machine on a schedule and boot to a special backup tool or something like that?

So to sum up my questions:
1. What's the best software to use to create a hd image (all partitions and even mbr if possible) while the OS is running?
2. If there are no tools which can do 1, are there any that can reboot the machine automatically and boot to a special partition/os/tool to backup the main partitions?

Backup would preferably compress and go to a cdr or dvdr. Alternatively over a running smb share to a windows partition (fat32 or ntfs available)

Old 05-16-2005, 07:04 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: fedora core 8, suse 10.3, ubuntu 7.10, kamikaze 7.09
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First I would not advise to create an image backup from a live system, use a live cd distro like kanotix to boot linux and create a image.
For this instruction to work you need an extra partition with free space to store the backup, about 70% of the space in use by the partition you want the backup.

Before you make an image of a partition run the following instruction
cd "locationpartition"
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=emptyfile | rm emptyfile
(this wil force a smaller image file)

Now you can start making a image
cd "locationextrapartition"
sudo dd if=/dev/partition | gzip -c | sudo split -b 25m - backup.img.gz.
(this wil make compresses gzip file each 25Mb in size, you can burn them on a cd or dvd)

restoring the image with

cat backup.img.gz.* | gzip -dc | sudo dd of=/dev/partition
Old 05-16-2005, 07:26 PM   #3
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: debian
Posts: 62

Original Poster
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Thanks for the reply.

However im looking for something a bit more robust than dd.
I'd like to have a program along the lines of norton ghost or pq drive image - doesn't need a gui or anything though.

Is there really no good/safe way to backup an actual partition (not just all the bits in a partition) while the partition is live?
I'm pretty sure partimage does this
But I'd like to know all the options and the best ones.

I know I could just backup the files in the partitions, take a new computer, create the partitions, then untar a backup into it - but I'd rather have a solution that does that all itself if possible.

Thanks again.
Old 05-16-2005, 10:27 PM   #4
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