Backing up a linux system?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by CrusherW9, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I have a home server just running Windows 7 and I'm looking into making the switch to Linux. One of the things I've been wondering about is how to go about backing up the machine itself. I'm not worried about backing up the media on it, I got that covered. I've read that I can backup the pc by just zipping the root directory and then restore it by unzipping it and replacing all the files. But I've also read that after doing this, you have to reinstall your boot loader. This also isn't entirely convenient because it lacks the ability to make incremental backups. I'm using Easus Todo to backup my Windows pc's and am wondering if there's a similar sort of all in one backup and restore program with support for incremental backups and scheduling on linux? I've been looking around and Deja Dup seems to be really popular, but it doesn't solve the bootloader issue. Any suggestions?

    Tl:Dr:
    I'm looking for a way to backup a linux pc (not the media files, just the state of the OS) that supports incremental backups, scheduling,and easy recovery.
     
  2. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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  3. Yuki2718

    Yuki2718 Registered Member

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    Other than classic dump/restore and easy way you described (but zip is not popular on Linux, tar is much more popular), any CD/USB bootable backup solution with full disk backup capability should work.
     
  4. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    At a partition level you can use LVM snapshot feature to make backups (requires you installing your system with LVM for managing partitions).
    You want to look at using LVMsync or similar (https://github.com/mpalmer/lvmsync) which is a tool for copying only changed blocks (note I have not tried this).

    There are quite a few filesystem level tools built around rsync for backup up filesystems and making incremental backups (this is what Apple's Time Machine uses under the hood).
    FYI you can back your boot loader to file, can't remember the exact commands, but its a simple one-liner, store that on your filesystem and then its stored as part of your backup plan.

    I personally don't bother backing up entire Linux systems as they seldom break and are so quick to reinstall. Backup you list of installed packaged, backup your configurations, partition scheme and you have enough to reinstall your system from scratch.

    Cheers, Nick
     
  5. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Paragon HDM, Acronis, Terabyte Image for Linux all supports EXT4 and other Linux file systems. I use these to back up my Ubuntu all the time.
     
  6. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Yea, I've never really used linux much so some things are just weird to me.
    This makes a lot of sense, actually. I'll look into this. Also, I'm used to in Windows where something might become corrupt for whatever reason and you'll randomly be unable to boot or have some other odd issues. Is this something less common on linux?
     
  7. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    My experience I would say Linux is less problematic, but also far more easily diagnosable and repairable than Windows, configurations are easy to get to, logging is generally more useful and accessible, esp as you can use live-media to boot your system and inspect and tweak/repair your system far easier than you can with Windows.
     
  8. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Thought I would jump on this thread since I am suspecting a glitch for my needs.

    What about for folks that have LUKS FDE, LVM, etc... in play (only exception is /boot)? I never have any issues with Linux and I run VM's to the hilt keeping the linux host clean other than system updates. Disks are still physical creatures that will eventually let you down. So, in my case what happens when the external drive just drops dead? I have my data backed up (all VM's are cloned to removable media too) and I am positive that I can re-create my setup on a new disk from scratch, BUT it would take many hours to get it all tweaked just how I like it.

    Is there anything a little easier for someone like myself, other than a DD type sector based image? I don't think so but I am asking in case I missed something while traveling through "linux school". LOL!!
     
  9. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    I use redo back up and restore on linux mint and it has never failed yet.
     
  10. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Are you using absolute FDE on your platter ----- (/boot excluded)?
     
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