Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I already searched a bit around the answers here, but nothing satisfied me. I want a back-up solution that makes a total back-up, so that I can restore my Ubuntu system in case of major failures, like HDD failing.

As far as I can see, I have 2 choices:

  1. Backing up with Deja Dup to an external disk. This is fine and I am already doing it, but in case my HDD fails, and I make a new Ubuntu install on a new disk, will Deja Dup be able to restore all my settings and stuff from the backed up files? If it can, then what other files/folders should I add in Deja Dup to back-up? Currently I have set only the recommended /home folder. Is there a point in telling Deja Dup to back-up everything under "/" ?

  2. Disk/partition cloning software. This would be something similar to Norton ghost. Is there software like this with a nice GUI that you could recommend for Ubuntu? And even better, it would be nice if Ubuntu's liveCD could recognize such a clone at install step.

I am using 11.10.

share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by Braiam, terdon, Eric Carvalho, belacqua, Sylvain Pineau May 19 at 20:01

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I just found out on the develpper's website that he is shutting down remastersys See geekconnection.org/remastersys –  Leo Jan 25 at 22:01
add comment

6 Answers 6

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I hope you have lots of free space, and that free space is highly available. In a Debian system, you really only need to back up what's in /home and perhaps /etc. Then you can get a list of all packages installed like so:

dpkg --get-selections > installed-software

and to restore:

dpkg --set-selections < installed-software && dselect

Deja-dup, or just using duplicity directly should suit your needs and save you a ton of space compared to saving binary copies of your HD. It'll be faster too.

6/19/2013 I've written detailed instructions on how to automate duplicity (crontab) and use passphrase protected gpg encryption.

share|improve this answer
1  
So you are saying that it's enough to set Deja-Dup back-up /home and /etc ? –  bioShark Nov 20 '11 at 17:56
1  
Correct, because /etc doesn't have a list of every package you've installed. Pretty sure that information lives in /var. You'll need /etc to restore any PPAs you've applied but you still need a record of what you installed from there. Best thing would be to create an additional cron job that runs the aforementioned command and deposits it in your $HOME, that way dejadup has you covered. –  ppetraki Nov 20 '11 at 21:57
1  
Great. I'll create then a cron job with "dpkg --get-selections > installed-software" to get the list of installed software, and set up deja-dup with /home + /etc. –  bioShark Nov 20 '11 at 22:05
add comment

I have just restored a system, myself. I am a newbie to Ubuntu, but I have learned a lot and I am a fan of multi-partitions.

Backing up /etc; well I don't know, but having a record of 'fstab' is essential and during the re-installation, remembering to only format the / partition is also important. As a result of having a mount point at /home/my-namefor my data partition, the most important thing that I discovered as a direct result of the re-install, was the need to immediately revert fstab. This required a reboot following the system installation, (just like "Windows"),as I was unable to invoke gedit from the command line straight away.

The benefit is avoiding the need to restore to /home/my-name. It is enough of a chore having to re-install all the previously installed programs.

To be doubly safe a monthly clone of the entire hard drive is good. 'dd' leaves you hanging in space without a clue as to what is going on. 'DDRESCUE' keeps you informed. I shall take a look at 'Clonezilla'. Backups with deja dup however, seem to restore data just fine.

share|improve this answer
    
thanks for your imput. –  bioShark Nov 15 '12 at 13:51
add comment

Professionally, we use Clonezilla to do full disk and partition clones. It can image the disk to an external USB, SFTP, or NFS shares. It compresses the image and in some cases is able to do partition resizing based upon disk size.

http://clonezilla.org/

share|improve this answer
    
On my disk I have multiple partitions. sdb4 is my linux and sdb5 my swap. Can Clonezilla clone only those partitions form the disk? –  bioShark Nov 19 '11 at 21:57
    
What about using Deja Dup to back up / and then after a fresh install of ubuntu, make a restore? –  bioShark Nov 19 '11 at 22:18
    
I have made a / back-up in Deja Dup, home it helps. Thanks for the clonezilla tip though –  bioShark Nov 19 '11 at 22:49
add comment

you need remastersys, it backs up everything, all installed apps, the whole lot. back in time or deja dup are good, but to get YOUR system back the way you had it, remastersys is great for backing up your system

get it here http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/

be sure to read the guides and you cant go wrong

share|improve this answer
    
The development of remastersys has been discontinued. –  Sina Apr 28 at 22:29
add comment

There is also a command line tool called dd

This will copy everything byte for byte, even the uuid (which you would have to change if you wanted to have them both bootable at the same time).

There are disk/partition cloning instructions here

In my experience, doing this every so often keeps a solid backup of your system, and when you want to revert I just format the newer partition and copy my backup back in.

share|improve this answer
    
Also see askubuntu.com/questions/78076/… for Question/Answers here on AskUbuntu of how to clone your drive with dd (and other programs) –  James Nov 27 '12 at 1:23
add comment

Are you looking for a Disk/partition cloning software like Norton Ghost with a nice GUI? Use Redo!

Is open, very easy, partitioning and other tools included and you can surf the web while you clone, back up or restore your disk/partition

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.