TrueImage 10 and Linux

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Modred, Feb 13, 2007.

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  1. Modred

    Modred Registered Member

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    This is a question I've asked before in this forum. But, a new version of TrueImage has been released, so I thought I would ask it again.

    I dual boot WinXP and Linux, but spend 98 percent of my time in Linux. I use TI-8 Home edition to backup the Linux partition on a regular basis and to backup the entire disk on a less frequent basis. I have restored the Linux partition on a number of occasions without any problem.

    For me, the only benefit that I can see in upgrading to TI-10 is the ability to separately restore the grub/mbr. That actually is a nice feature but probably not enough to justify the upgrade. Are there any other *specific features* that would make the upgrade worthwhile?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. MudCrab

    MudCrab Imaging Specialist

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    With both TI 9 and 10 I have had to reinstall grub to allow my linux partition to boot (grub was installed in the partition, not the MBR) after restoring my linux partition.

    One thing I like about TI 10 is that it will allow me to explore my linux ext3 partition backup images and extract files while in Windows. TI 9 wouldn't do this. This makes it easy for me if I just need to grab a file or two and don't want to bother with booting into linux, copying to a share and booting back to windows.

    If your hardware is supported well by TI 8, you may be just as well to continue using it. I never used version 8 so I'm not familiar with how it restores the MBR. It sounds like to only does it when you restore the entire drive. In any case I suppose you could just reinstall grub if the MBR got screwed up. There are most likely some linux tools that will backup and restore the MBR also. You may want to check into that as it would be free.
     
  3. Modred

    Modred Registered Member

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    MudCrab,

    Thanks for the information. The ability to extract individual files from an ext3 partition image while in Windows easily makes the upgrade worth the price. I did have one additional question, though.

    The Acronis site has a TrueImage 10 Home FAQ that states:

    I cannot explore an image of the Linux partition in Windows. Why?

    If an image contains a partition with a Linux file system, Windows will not be able to view it as the Windows OS does not support the Linux file systems. As a result, Linux partitions cannot be mounted as virtual drives on a Windows-based PC.


    Do I misunderstand what Acronis is saying, or do I misunderstand your posting?

    Thanks again.

    Modred
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2007
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Modred:

    That statement in the FAQ was correct for TI versions prior to 10. I think that Acronis forgot to update their documentation when they released version 10.

    You can explore the image of a Linux ext3 partition in Windows with TI Home version 10 and you can see and copy individual files from the image. In previous versions this feature (exploring an image) did not exist. You could only mount an image as a virtual disk drive. If the mounted image was FAT or NTFS, then you could see and copy files from it. If it was an image of a file system that Windows does not understand, like ReiserFS, ext2, or ext3, then you could not see the contents of the image file.

    But now you can. This feature alone was worth the upgrade to me because my images consist of a mix of FAT, NTFS, and ext3 partitions and I can now explore all of them.
     
  5. Modred

    Modred Registered Member

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    kOlo,

    Thanks for the help. I purchased and installed TrueImage 10. The new explore option--which allows us to view and copy files in a Linux partition--works great. There are some other nice new features, such as the option to automatically verify an image. So, money well spent.

    Thanks again.

    Modred
     
  6. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    If I add Linux to an NTFS partition, my intention would be to run from Windows most of te time and do image backups with TI 9 frm Windows.

    I ASSuME, in tfis case, that TI 9 would know nothing about the Linux stuff on the NTFS drive and treat the Linux stuff as ordinary files.

    Would TI 10 be able to traverse the Linux file structure?
    Would TI 10 allow me to mount theNTFS vo9lune using the Linux file structure.
     
  7. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Howard:

    I'm not aware of a Linux distribution that can be installed to and run natively from an NTFS partition. Most require that the system files (root and home partitions) be installed to one of the file systems that are supported by Linux, like ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, etc.

    Perhaps I misunderstood your question. If you are asking if you can install Linux to a drive that contains NTFS partitions, then yes, you can. If you choose a native Linux file system, then Windows will ignore these partitions, although you will be able to see that they exist in the Disk Management console. There are even drivers that you can install in Windows that will let you read and write to ext2 or ext3 partitions from within Windows. http://www.fs-driver.org/

    Either TI9 or TI10 will allow you to make and restore backup images of the Linux partitions either from Windows or from the recovery environment. I've been doing that for years now.

    A new capability was added to version 10 of TI that allows you to mount a backup image of your Linux partition in Windows and traverse the file structure. I know for a fact that it works on ext2 and ext3 partitions, but I'm not sure about ReiserFS (never tried it). You can browse through your Linux files, copy them, save them, etc. This feature alone is reason enough to upgrade to TI10.
     
  8. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Thanx.

    If I will need a separate partition for Linux, then, for my current system, I guess that I cannot install Linux because there is no practical way, without replacing a drive with a larger drive, to create another partition.

    Hmmm, can Linux be installed on a USB drive?
    And could I then boot Linux from a USB drive?
     
  9. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    A typical installation of Ubuntu (currently the most popular Linux distribution) requires about 2 GB plus a swap file that is approx. equal to your RAM size. Everything can go into logical partitions; no primary partitions are required.

    If you just want a test drive, download the latest version of Ubuntu desktop and burn it to a CD. You can then boot from the CD to try it out. It will run completely from RAM without the need to install anything to your hard disk.

    To answer your question, yes you can install to an external USB drive. However, this is very hardware-dependent. You may have noticed the number of posts on this forum from people having problems with USB devices in the TI recovery (Linux-based) environment. You can probably find a good how-to article on the Ubuntu forums about installing to external USB hard drives.
     
  10. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    Partition Magic can create ext2, ext3, and Linux Swap partitions.

    Ayup, I thought about that, but if I need to change a program on the CD, that's a pain in the back rank, to use polite chess terminology.

    I use TI 9 to backup to USB drives and, here I go jinxing meself!, I've been able to recover using TI CD. Indeed, I have to recover using tI CD. If I try recovering from within Windows, there is ALWAYS a BSOD hust as the process is finishing, but that's another story, which I raised before, and got no response from TI. Might be different with TI 10, to which I would upgrade if I installed Linux.
     
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Please note that the FAQ article about exploring image archive of the Linux partition is correct and up-to date.

    Naturally, Windows operating system does not have drivers for Linux file systems like ext3, for example. Thus, Windows and, therefore, Acronis True Image, which operates under Windows via Windows file system drivers, will not be able to view such partitions. However, as k0lo mentioned there are certain drivers for Linux file systems that can be installed under Windows and allow one to view the content of these partitions via Windows Explorer.

    Please note that the ability to mount/explore the image archive of Linux partition (ext2, ext3 etc) was already requested and we do have plans to implement this ability in the future builds/versions of Acronis True Image. I'm sorry, but at the moment the exact time-frame for that is not decided yet.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  12. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Aleksandr:

    That's very interesting, but TI Home 10 does this now. As I'm writing this, I am exploring the contents of a backup image (.tib file) that contains both NTFS and Linux ext3 partitions. I can browse into the archive file and see each of the partitions. I can further browse into the Linux ext3 partitions and see files, open and view the contents of the files, copy them, etc.

    I'm doing this from Windows, WITHOUT having any special Windows drivers installed; just a normal Windows XP Pro installation.
     
  13. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello k0lo and everyone interested,

    I have just consulted with Acronis Development Team regarding the ability to mount and explore image archives of the Linux partitions.

    Mount image archive procedure (Operations -> Mount) operates via Windows drivers and as I mentioned above Windows operating system does not have drivers for Linux file systems, therefore, image archive of Linux partition can not be mounted.

    Explore backup archive procedure (Tools -> Explore Backup Archive) operates in the different way. It uses Windows shell extensions and Acronis drivers. Thus, as Acronis True Image 10.0 Home supports Ext2/Ext3, ReiserFS and Linux SWAP files systems along with FAT16/32 and NTFS the backup archive of the Linux partition can be explored.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
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