• We did not send an email asking for donations - please read this post.

Linux imaging - backup and restore

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
Hello.
My apologies if this has been discussed before in another thread. I searched but didn't find anything. Additional apologies if this is not the correct section for posting this discussion.
I am looking for a quick and easy imaging solution for my Linux machines. I am very familiar with Clonezilla but I am looking for something a little more quick and easy. I have used dd to complete drive image backups (e.g. dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=32M status=progress; dd if=/dev/sda of=/destination/drive.img bs=32M status=progress) and restores (e.g. dd if=/source/drive.img of=/dev/sda bs=32M status=progress) by booting up into a live Linux environment (in most cases, using Fedora) but I would like to know if there is a more streamline way of completing image backups with user interaction.
Here are my thoughts of what I would like to do (or use):
Have a bootable USB that boots into Linux that ask a few basic questions like which device you would like to image (e.g. /dev/sda) and where you would want the straight to image backup, or .img file, sent to (external USB drive or some other secondary local storage). Then, based on the answers, complete a dd backup of that source to the destination. And/or, ask the question of where you want the restore source and destination and then based on the answer complete the restore.

Is there something out there that already accomplishes this other than Clonezilla? If so, could you please recommend? If not, how would one start a project like this?
Facts: I'm not a Linux expert. But, I don't consider myself entry-level either. I'm also not a developer. I'm a simple Linux Sys Admin with some Linux certifications.
Thanks in advance for your feedback and recommendations.
 
Last edited:


Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
5,147
Reaction score
4,319
Credits
30,310
G'day t3kg33k, Welcome to Linux.org

Please....dont apologise. New, fresh approaches are the spice of Linux.

It is quite likely that the various members here will bleat on about their favourite backup systems/procedures etc etc

But.....I have not come across one that ticks all the boxes.....yet. I have tried quite a few over the time I have been with Linux....and they all have their shortcomings. A few of the apparently proprietary systems that are ?free? i simply do not trust.....this is based on the mindset that if something on the 'net is free.....then you and your info are the product.

Of late, I have used the disks app......Linux Mint 21...included by default......but also available from the repository

As long as the image is saved to a ext4 formatted drive .....and as long as the drive is at least as big as the main drive.....then it does the job. I have a 250GB m.2.....which takes around 40 minutes to make a clone...it does the entire drive regardless of whether there is info etc on the entire drive or not. My drive is only around 15% full....so a swag of empty space is backed up !

But...it is reliable. Very. The restore process works. So it can be depended on

There you go....I have had my 'bleat'

I will watch this post with great interest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rob

forester

Active Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2022
Messages
442
Reaction score
240
Credits
3,148

KGIII

Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2020
Messages
7,389
Reaction score
6,372
Credits
59,892
You could look at luckyBackup, which ticks some of those boxes.

You didn't say which distro you are using, so I can only guess that it's in your repositories.
 
OP
T

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
You could look at luckyBackup, which ticks some of those boxes.

You didn't say which distro you are using, so I can only guess that it's in your repositories.

Truthfully, I would want it to be distro agnostic (like Clonezilla). Being that dd is used in all Linux kernels, I would want this to work on everything.
I think what I would really like to do is create my own minimal ISO that, again, is interactive at boot that would ask all the relevant questions then simply run dd based on the replies.
I spent some time browsing the interwebs and it seems that there are a lot of tools out there but are, for the most part, specific to a particular distro.
If anyone has any tips on how to create my own ISO with an added scripts for the user interactions would be helpful. Even it means creating a project on Github to start the collaborative creation.
 

bob466

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
652
Reaction score
461
Credits
4,784
You should try Foxclone...https://www.foxclone.com/
Foxclone creates an image of the Drive (not the whole Drive) and it's stored on an External HDD...is very easy to use and has a verifying tool so you know the Image you create is good and is very fast...unlike clonezilla.
m100.gif


I have a 500GB SSD...used space is about 230GB...Foxclone would create an Image of the used space and apply compression...the Image is now about 180GB and took about 40 minutes and has a great GUI too. Foxclone comes with easy to follow instructions so you can't go wrong. Should disaster strike...it's a simple task to Re-Image the Drive.
m1212.gif
 
OP
T

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
You should try Foxclone...https://www.foxclone.com/
Foxclone creates an image of the Drive (not the whole Drive) and it's stored on an External HDD...is very easy to use and has a verifying tool so you know the Image you create is good and is very fast...unlike clonezilla.
m100.gif


I have a 500GB SSD...used space is about 230GB...Foxclone would create an Image of the used space and apply compression...the Image is now about 180GB and took about 40 minutes and has a great GUI too. Foxclone comes with easy to follow instructions so you can't go wrong. Should disaster strike...it's a simple task to Re-Image the Drive.
m1212.gif

Awesome. I will check it out. Thanks.
 

ML_113

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2022
Messages
67
Reaction score
35
Credits
451
Parted Magic for me.
I clone only OS'es , never data - (for which I use cp instead) , to speed thing up.
 

MikeWalsh

Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2022
Messages
93
Reaction score
92
Credits
1,157
This isn't really needed for us in Puppy-land.

System files are loaded into RAM at boot from an untouchable, read-only squash filesystem to a virtual ramdisk. Any config changes get written, on-the-fly, to the appropriate layer of the aufs layering file-system located within the aforesaid ramdisk......then everything gets written to the 'save' at shutdown. The only thing that needs backing-up is your 'save-file'/'save-folder'.....and that can be accomplished with a simple copy/paste action.

(Puppy's in the process of slowly transitioning to the more kernel-friendly 'OverlayFS'......though this will entail the loss of certain aufs-specific features, much to the community's annoyance. The current kernel maintainers have rejected the older implementation as 'unfit for purpose', citing the primary reason as being that the aufs code is too dense & not 'transparent' enough for their liking.)

It's such a simple, fool-proof system, I'm amazed nobody else has even considered it. It goes without saying, of course, that anyone with a lick of sense will keep personal data on a separate drive or partition.....you can "bork" your system as often as you like this way, and personal stuff remains untouched.

Ah, well. Some of us have "seen the light"..! :D


Mike. ;)
 
Last edited:
OP
T

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
You're welcome...instructions can be found here...https://www.foxclone.org/downloads/foxcloneV42.pdf

All you need is a Flash Drive and an External HDD or SSD.
m1213.gif

Looking at the instructions it looks as if it has some limitations (e.g. lvm). Whereas using dd does not, I believe. At least, as many times as I have used dd I have not run into any problems with cloning entire disk.
 
OP
T

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
Parted Magic for me.
I clone only OS'es , never data - (for which I use cp instead) , to speed thing up.

I forgot about Parted Magic. I may need to look at again as it has been several years since I have used it.
 

bob466

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
652
Reaction score
461
Credits
4,784
Looking at the instructions it looks as if it has some limitations (e.g. lvm). Whereas using dd does not, I believe. At least, as many times as I have used dd I have not run into any problems with cloning entire disk.

Did you try it ?
m1516.gif


You wanted something better than clonezilla...something that creates an image of everything on the Drive...is fast and reliable didn't you ? Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
m09004.gif
 
OP
T

t3kg33k

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2022
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Credits
62
Did you try it ?
m1516.gif


You wanted something better than clonezilla...something that creates an image of everything on the Drive...is fast and reliable didn't you ? Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
m09004.gif

Don't get offended. I actually tried to download it over the weekend but their server was having issues. I reached out to the developer to let them know and they were aware of the issue and got it fixed, it seems, yesterday. I have since been able to download it and will test it.
However, as I mentioned, there are limitations that would not work for my scenario since I use operating systems that use lvm (e.g. AlmaLinux, Fedora, etc.). So, this product may not work for my needs, or most who use distributions that use lvm.
 
$100 Digital Ocean Credit
Get a free VM to test out Linux!

Linux.org Hosting Donations
Consider making a donation

Members online


Top