Backup and Restore solutions

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by TS4H, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    Being relatively new to Linux, I am unaware of the current solutions for backup and restore for the many Linux distros.

    After reading a few thing online much of which is quite old, I am having a hard time gauging the best possible solutions for backup and restore. I am aware of the backup tool already incorporated into many distros but I am unaware if they are feature complete and reliable upon restore. Are there more complete solutions? possibly TimeShift, Grsync, Deja dup, Aptik, BackinTime ?

    So please share your backup solutions/tools and strategies for linux,

    regards.
     
  2. accessgranted

    accessgranted Registered Member

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    Hi and welcome to Linux world.

    I personnally backup and restore partitions, disks, MBR and/or Grub using Clonezilla.

    Works very well with any distro I know of.
     
  3. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    I use on linux lite a program called redo backup and recovery and it has never failed me yet.
     
  4. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    If you are coming from a Windows world you may already own some powerful software solutions, which can be used in RAM from a flash drive or optical. I love and use Macrium Pro for sector cloning of my linux partitions. I use LUKS full disk encryption so my restore solutions MUST be sector based anyway. Macrium performs flawlessly for doing complete backups and restores of linux partitions/devices. I have never had a restore fail if I verify the backup when it was made! I have usb 3 hardware so restores of the entire OS are under 30 minutes.. How much easier can it be? Clonezilla is good too. If you have used some of the more powerful Windows backup software you might be able to save the "learning curve" by continuing with it. Just saying.
     
  5. wat0114

    wat0114 Registered Member

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    Image for Windows, a paid solution, is what I primarily use for Linux backups and restores, and it's worked flawlessly for me. Support for it is first-rate as well.The bundle includes Image for Linux and Image for DOS, the former of which can also backup/restore Linux partitions.
     
  6. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses it really got me thinking. Considering ill be dual booting along with windows 10 for the foreseeable future, I may as well just use Macrium to backup and restore those partitions.

    I have a question about the Native Linux Mint Backup Tool none the less so pardon my ignorance;

    In windows to backup and restore a whole disk I would select the mbr/system reserved partition and C: In linux is the grub/boot loader stored in the file system? So if i were to use the Native backup tool, for complete disaster recovery all I would need to select is the "file system". Is this correct?

    Much appreciated,
     
  7. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Clonezilla is very good for Linux ( versus macrium reflect for Windows).
     
  8. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I can't argue with your point. My personal counter (not argument) is that my paid Macrium Pro contains all the usb3 drivers for my machine as well as for the externals I use for backups. Since I use LVM on LUKS every sector needs to be backed up anyway, and of course I do so in RAM on a cold machine. USB3 with all the needed drivers already included will absolutely spoil the user. I have experimented with some other free solutions but they use usb2 (out of the box) and 2 1/2 hours instead of 20-30 minutes is too frustrating on my imaging. If I didn't already have such a powerful and ready to go solution I'ld probably grab Clonezilla and then jump through whatever hoops I needed to for securing usb3 drivers. BTW --- how difficult is it to employ full usb3 with Clonezilla?
     
  9. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    I do not backup my system, just data/documents etc. For that I use rsync or its GUI Grsync, with some scheduling.
     
  10. aigle

    aigle Registered Member

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    Actually my Linux laptop is old and no choice of usb3 on it. But I fully agree that usb3 is a must for fast backups. No compromise on it.
     
  11. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    During Dual boot, grub is shown first and takes priority. Is it possible to add a boot menu option to start the Macrium Reflect Recovery Environment alongside Windows 10 and Linux? If this is possible Grsync would be a great idea as @dogbite suggested.

    regards.
     
  12. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I have read your posts on this thread and I am GUESSING that your Linux OS is not FDE (e.g. - LUKS). If my guess is correct your backup needs are very different from mine regarding how to approach the task. My system disk restores require an image re-write by sector. Its lightning fast on usb3 so I just do every single sector and come back in <30 minutes and all is good to go! I still backup files, folders, VM's, etc... maintaining the ability to restore those items individually as needed.

    There are many others here that will suggest simple programs that are much faster and are not full sector copies. I prefer my method because ALL the configurations, setups, in fact absolutely everything is restored EXACTLY back. In other words get it all setup properly and as you want it configured ONCE. Now the restore snaps it back to that point and you don't have to go through all that stuff again. I do have a ton of personalized configurations and edits of scripts that I use. I do NOT plan to beat myself up again when I can save my work!

    One other side benefit but its a nice one. When I do the sector re-writes it restores EVERY single sector back to CLEAN (if the donor image was created clean). Functions like a WIPE in a sense. Linux is tough to wipe and frankly the support for the process lags Windows tools. This really works to accomplish that task for a user.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  13. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    You are correct in your assumption. The linux partition is shared with Windows 10 on an SSD. Neither is encrypted. The linux swap file is separate from the ext4 root/ main partition, although at some stage I plan to separate it further, such as adding the /home to a separate partition for ease of future upgrades once I get more familiar with how this environment works.

    All backups are from Win10 and Linux backups will be stored in another internal logical drive.

    After reading your responses several times I thank you for being so informative, even though our set-ups are totally different it has lead me to investigate the importance of sector by sector backups especially if the drive is encrypted, which to be honest I never really looked into.

    Macrium does support ext4 so ill be using it to backup all my partitions, and possibly grsync to transfer files to and from.

    Searching a bit more online regarding macrium boot R.E., adding the macrium recovery environment as a boot option does not add it to grub. However if you select Windows to boot, the macrium recovery option is given. Seems as though grub is initialised first as opposed to the mbr, but maybe you already knew that. :)

    regards.
     
  14. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Complete non-factor for me. My /boot (starts Linux) is not even on my hard drive. I use separate usb flash sticks to start my different linux systems. After booting Linux I extract the usb flash and know the boot files cannot then be messed with by any online activity/malware. I have numerous USB backups and in fact have spare /boot flash sticks for every Linux system I use. Matching UUID's, etc.... This means I just do complete sector backups on the encrypted Linux partitions and I can restore them exactly without worrying about the boot loader (/boot) during the process. This method adds security but it also makes my backups/restores so easy!

    On the subject of filesystems. It doesn't matter what the filesystem is when you are doing a full sector by sector image of a partition/device. Its all 11111's & 000000's no matter which filesystem is on the platter. Remember Macrium Pro is creating an exact replica of the ones and zeros. It can restore that replica in the same fashion and frankly it does NOT even need to be a filesystem that it knows how to recognize. Hope that makes some sense to you.

    Lastly here, I hope you realize how easy this is once you learn the process. Everything backup wise is done in RAM on a cold computer the way I do it. That is the best way to get an accurate "shapshot". Just like a photographer, when the subject you are taking a picture of stands absolutely still you get the best and most clear picture. Get it?
     
  15. TS4H

    TS4H Registered Member

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    Thank you for your insight, had no idea Linux was so flexible. To be honest im seeing why there is such enthusiasm and such a large community. I have been surprised more than once the more I delve into the inner operations and logic behind Linux, for example; Didn't like how my NTFS partitions was shown in thunar side panel, no problem there is a tool for that to stop it from mounting. Didn't like how the tooltips were yellow, no problem edit some files.

    Its an exciting journey. regards.