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Old 12-19-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
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Registered: Dec 2010
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Ubuntu backup to USB flash drive. Symbolic links and special files.

Hi all,

I recently installed Ubuntu, replacing Windows in the process. Now I realise I need Windows back so I can install an IBM product which I need for work.

I would like to back up my Linux docs and settings onto a USB flash drive so that I can simply pull them back in when I have reinstalled Windows and Linux. I wanted to copy /home /usr and /var using Nautilus because I thought this would be the simplest way to do things. I'm getting errors because I'm attempting to copy symbolic links and special files.

After looking through a few forums, I think maybe I need to learn how to use the commands find and cpio. This seems like a lot of work for what should be a simple task.

On a somewhat related topic, I'm surprised how long Nautilus takes to copy data to USB - 2 hours for 1Gig...! I'm sure Windows would be quicker than this..?! (the USB drive is bootable - would this make any difference?)

One more thing - when I played around with Linux a few years ago, I remember that /home and a few other directories were on separate partitions. Ubuntu seems to put everything on one partition - or am I missing something?

Q1: Am I backing up the right directories?
Q2: Can/Should I use Nautilus?
Q3: Should it take 2 hours to backup 1Gig to a USB flash drive?
Q4: Do I still need separate partitions for /home & /usr

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.


Old 12-19-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2010
Distribution: Debian Lenny
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I use rsync to backup my system; it takes about 20 min. to do ALL of it. It gets backed up to an IDE drive mounted in a USB adapter box and that in turn is plugged into a USB hub. I make 2 files when I backup. One is /home and the other is everything else.
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backup, cpio, partition, symbolic, ubuntu

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