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Old 08-23-2006, 11:45 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: /au/qld/bne/4157
Distribution: Gentoo mactel-linux
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Best way to backup a whole installation?

I have done a successful LFS6.2 install on my primary disk and now I want to sort of snap-shot it and start over with different disk dimensions etc What is the best way to bundle the entire system safely up into something I can put on a DVD for restoring later?

Can I execute some format of b2zip or tar et al that handles the permissions and (not a directory or regular file) other kinds of system objects that cant be easily handled as normal files.

I am expecting to boot on a live cd, mount /dev/sda3 and then copy everything exactly as is onto some media so that I can be copied back onto an ext3 blank partition and then booted later (assuming grub is properly reinstalled/setup of course)

What do you recommend? LFS is a lot of work and I would like to be able to keep it for future use

Old 08-24-2006, 12:11 AM   #2
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Umm well one way is using dd to create a byte-to-byte "image file" of the harddisk, and then copy that off. The problem is, if it's a problem to you, that the image is very big in size..but that will create an exact copy, if you like.

dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/mnt/bigsafeplace/backup-of-sda3
would do the job afaik.

Of course cpio will do to some extent, it will copy even special files into the cpio archive, that tar, gzip etc. won't.
Old 08-24-2006, 02:14 AM   #3
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I use tar to make a copy of one installation and install it on another computer. Installing it back on the same computer would work equally well of course.

I don't use compression, it slows down the tar a lot.

You even can tar the partition of a live, running machine provided you exclude files like /proc/kcore and mounted file systems.

If you want to save the MBR, use dd and copy the first 446 bytes into a file. (check the exact number in the "learn how to use the dd command" in this forum.)

Old 08-24-2006, 07:06 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: /au/qld/bne/4157
Distribution: Gentoo mactel-linux
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Thanks guys! dd has worked ok - but the at first glance I couldn't do it because I was dd'ing to a VFAT partition and ran out of file size at 4g! Never mind - *big*safeplace alright!



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