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Old 01-20-2014, 02:34 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2014
Distribution: Debian, Mint, CentOS, Ubuntu
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Best method/software to make snapshots of my system

Now that I have my home server up and running and SSH configured I would like to make a snapshot backup in case I really screw it up I won't have to start from scratch.

In the past I've used Ghost and Carbon Cloner on windows and mac. What's the preferred method for doing this on linux?
Old 01-20-2014, 11:44 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Slackware
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You might take a look at Clonezilla to see if it has the capabilities you need.

You can also make image copies of entire partitions easily using the dd command. Good info in this thread:
Learn the DD command
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-21-2014, 05:42 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2014
Location: Farnborough, Hampshire - UK
Distribution: Previously 2 * Fedora 18 Servers -> 2 * CentOS 6.7 + random distro testing
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The link supplied by ZO38 is very helpful. To simplify the process of sifting through all the information on that page, try the following using dd:

1. Boot a machine with a Linux install CD / DVD or Live Media.
2. swapoff -a (to disable swap if it's written to the drive you wish to make an image of)
3. dd if=/dev/sd? |gzip > /mnt/sysimage/location-to-store-image.gz


The dd command can then be used to take a complete copy of the Linux installation by taking a disk sector-by-sector copy rather than a copy of any file systems in placed and accompanying data. Whilst this copy is being generated it can be compressed and stored on another disk or usb media. Because a disk sector copy is being made rather than an operating system image with data, the primary benefit is that it can be used to backup any installation regardless of the operating system installed. The drawbacks include amongst others 1. Your machine is offline whilst the dd copy is being made, 2. The larger the physical hard disk is, the longer the copy will take irrespective of the amount of physical data stored on the disk. As far as I am aware there are other alternatives such as CloneZilla (as also already mentioned) that can be used for making snapshots of filesystems, etc... I am happy to stick with dd as it works perfectly for me and I have never had a failed restore to date... Oops... tempting fate....




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