Backup solutions for Linux

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by tlu, Nov 18, 2009.

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  1. tlu

    tlu Guest

    There have been several threads here regarding Linux backups.

    I agree with Mrk's recent remark that it's probably best to use Clonezilla to create an occasional image of your root partition and to regularly use another backup solution for your precious data (/home and possibly other directories) so it's easy to restore specific files/directories if needed. So far I've been using rsync (there is also a GUI called grsync) which works reliably but I'm nevertheless interested in other solutions.

    I've found the following alternatives:At first glance, rsnapshot looks best for me once properly setup. But i haven't tried the other alternatives yet. So I'm interested in your opinions about the (dis)advantages of these solutions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2009
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    I use grsync and tutorial coming up today, found it fastest and most reliable. Simulation mode and compression in transition are another great trait of rsync. Works fast, no stalls or hangs.

    Unison is also good, but slow to index. Plus, it did not much like my NTFS-formatted external disk. Works well in most cases, though.

    sbackup is not always reliable; trying to fire up the GUI twice can get the app to hang, plus the deamon is finicky sometimes. But works ok, except that it did not much like my NTFS-formatted external disk, like Unison.

    Mondo, quite useful, especially the bootable iso with your data, but it's slow and more difficult to use by average users.

    TimeVault, works fine as well, great for revision control, but takes a lot of space and runs all the time. Excellent for fire-and-forget users, who like to have their data backed up constantly and in many copies.

    All in all, grsync gets my vote.

    Regards,
    Mrk
     
  3. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Mrk, thanks for sharing your view! Nice coincidence that a grsync tutorial of yours is about to be come out ;)

    Agreed. It's a nice GUI if you want to start the backup manually but not needed if you start rsync via a cron-job.

    Another disadvantage (possibly also for some of the other alternatives) is that the backup is saved in a single .tgz file which can easily become several gigabytes large so restoring specific files can become rather time-consuming.

    Yes, but I tend more and more to an automated solution. Such a solution is probably best based on rsync, I'm not yet sure if I should add rsnapshot.
     
  4. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I have had a play with TimeVault and Back In Time, there is also flyback.
    I think all use rsync under the hood.

    They are suited to user data files and do frequent backups, though I would not call them backups, more revisions as no point backing up to the same drive/machine as where the data is held.
    I can't remember which one, but had great options for compounding old backups together so that you had 24 hourly backups, 7 weeks, 12 monthly etc.

    When I rebuild my server, I will then rsync the backup-set across the network from my laptops to the server as a geniune backup.
     
  5. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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  6. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    rsnapshot?
     
  7. tlu

    tlu Guest

  8. tlu

    tlu Guest

    I found a script on the German ubuntuusers Wiki that should perform something similar for rsync. You'd have to create the appropriate cron-job.

     
  9. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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  10. pcalvert

    pcalvert Registered Member

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  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    rsync is not a backup tool, is it is file copying tool, just like tar is an archive tool and rdiff is a diff tool.
    IMHO all require extra glue (UI, script etc) to be a complete backup sollution.
     
  12. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

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    Interesting post i found on Planet KDE.
    http://blog.chatonka.com/2009/12/timevault-progress-update/
     
  13. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    I used ShadowProtect to backup the root partition this afternoon and successfully restored it just a few minutes ago, after unsuccessfully trying the x64 version of Mint ( did not format the /Home partition).
     
  14. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I've been using Back in Time for almost a month and found it to be good and reliable.
    Its captured 5GB of data and I've tried rolling back various documents and large files such as movies old and new and worked a treat.
    There is a noticable slowdown when it diffs large files (backups are stored on same HDD at the moment), but its no worse than any other backup tool.
    I plan on getting an external drive store my backups in the Xms sales.
     
  15. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Just to erase any doubt about the effectiveness of ShadowProtect Recovery disk as a Linux image/restore solution, I used it to backup both the "/' and "/Home" partitions individually, re-botted off the Linux Mint disk and used Gparted to formated both these partitions (left the swap partition alone) to ext4, re-booted off the SP Recovery disk and used it to restore the images to their respective partitions. All worked fabulously :)

    The other solutions, although free, appear to be rather technically challenging for the average user.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2009
  16. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Okay, i have to score one for Clonezilla :thumb: Just used ver 1.2.3-20 tonight to clone the root & home parts, then the ultimate test: format root. Clonezilla restored it quickly and perfectly and I must say had no problems following the directions in cloning/restoring - far more intuitive than I thought it would have been. Very nice image/restore solution :)
     
  17. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Hi wat0114,

    You are progressing at a mind boggling pace,:) so I would like to ask you which version of Clonezilla you downloaded - was it the Ubuntu alternative or the stable ?
    As far as I know Clonezilla does not support Grub2 yet, can you or anybody else confirm that this is indeed the case ?
    BTW. Linux seems pretty stable Ubuntu and CentOS - never ever had to image - only once due to new HDD when I used Remastersys to get back my LTS Hardy.
    Regards
     
  18. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    LOL, yeah, I better slow down :D

    Yikes!!, not even sure, hard to remember, but I think off the page here:

    http://www.clonezilla.org/download/sourceforge/all/iso-zip-files.php

    I'm cloning/restoring Mint Helena w/grub 2 and no problems, other than earlier whenever I re-sized or moved the Linux root partition, the grub would not restore properly, but for some mysterious reason that problem seemed to resolve itself as I've had a couple successful restores in a row. So I'm not even sure if it truly supports grub2. I have grub installed on the root partition.


    You're right, Mint is excellent, and I've got Ubuntu installed in VirtualBox. It's just that I want to be proficient in using imaging/restore software/disks and then I'm always doing different things with my setup. I've moved and resized my partitions several times trying to achieve what suits me. Maybe I've got it figured out now.
    I get easily bored keeping my machine static for too long :) I don't do anything too important on it production-wise and all data is backed up nicely so I tend to use my machine as a learning tool. Linux is an O/S I've been intrigued with for a few years now so I'm getting rather involved in it of late. In spite of some frustrations I rather like it and just feel better knowing something else other than Windows. It's nice to have alternatives.
     
  19. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Thanks wat0114,

    Yeah, it's the alternative version of course. Was just confused for a while. I am sure Grub2 is supported as there is a karmic .iso. Seems easy to use so will give it a go.

    Try Remastersys, it's even easier to use, especially in backup mode. http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/remastersystool.html

    I am completely Windows free since April. Just received an email from Avira reminding me to renew my AV licence .. nice being able to save on that and other software licence renewals.

    Have fun ! :argh:
     
  20. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Thanks for the link, Ocky! Not sure I'll ever be Windows free, since I've used it for so long and it offers benefits Linux can't, but that works both ways too. Linux provides benefits Windows can't, so I'll likely always have a use for both O/S'.
     
  21. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    I've been using CloneZilla 1.2.2-31 stable for quite a while and it does support Grub 2.

    CloneZilla is like my all-time favorite back up solution. It's absolutely the best. Works with Windows (XP thru Windows 7), and Linux (depending upon the filing system used).

    As a side note, I need to start a thread about AptOnCD for Ubuntu users. It's a great application. I have every update, plus every application I've installed (Wine, build-essential, cairo-dock, cabextract, unrar, VLC, etc.), and its dependencies, safely tucked away in an ISO image that I've saved to pen drive. Great to have should you need to do a fresh install for yourself or someone else. I generally rebuild the ISO image once a week to keep it up to date.

    Later....
     
  22. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    That will be nice. wat0114 will be pleased to see that it comes with Linux Mint. May I ask you to kindly clarify/confirm some things now i.e. before starting a new thread ?

    For instance if you had made the AptOnCD DVD for your distro and then want to do a fresh install of the same distro for someone (to save download time and MB's) ...
    With a fresh install the AptOnCD Restore window (where you can select packages to restore) will probably not be shown because the AptOnCD program is not installed.
    So, am I correct in saying that when inserting the AptOnCD disc, you will be prompted to add the DVD/CD disc as a repository (Synaptic will open once this is done), and you can then install the required packages directly from DVD/CD - in this case nothing will be copied to /var/cache/apt/archives.
    Now if one wants the installed packages to also be copied to /var/cache/apt/archives, is it correct to say that one first needs to install the actual AptOnCD program on the fresh distro installation, then start AptOnCD >Restore >Load DVD/CD.
    This will bring up the packages window from where one can select which packages to install AND they will be copied to /var/cache/apt/archives.
    I am not 100% sure on this so please correct whatever is not true.
     
  23. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    If you are using Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) you will see that the install icon is missing when you boot into live cd. Typing ubiquity in the terminal doesn't help either.
    This is because in Karmic the ubiquity-frontend-gtk package is not installed by default.
    once installed all is well - an Install RELEASE menu entry will be placed in the System>Administration menu.

    Ubiquity-Synaptic.png
     
  24. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    That's pretty well it, Ocky. You've obviously used it before.

    .....Well....so much for starting a thread about AptOnCD. Ocky's description pretty much sums up it's functionality (in a lot less words than I would have required I'm sure). One tidbit though...use a CDRW disc where possible. I have AptOnCD discs labeled A-L sitting in a corner of my computer desk gathering dust.
     
  25. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Hi Trespasser,

    No, only tested then abandoned - don't know why. Will try again now that you have given me the green light. Must insist on your tutorial, with screenshots, the whole caboodle plse.
    ;) :D
     
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