My current setup of Ubuntu 17.10 on an Intel NUC is acting kind of strange lately. Over the years, I had to put in quite a few days of researching an trial and error to sort out a lot of problems that the Ubuntu/NUC combination brings along since Ubuntu is not officially supported on my NUC.

So I thought I could make a backup of my whole M.2 SSD, format it and start over with the new 18.04. If something should go wrong, I could then just restore the backup and without any additional work, my setup would be exactly the way it was before.

In this forum, I found Clonezilla might be the right option for me. As far as I understand it, I could use the Live version on an USB Stick which also has enough space left for the backup. Just connect it to my NUC, booting from it and making the backup. Same for the restoring part, connecting, booting formatting the whole SSD and restoring. And it's always the whole SSD, not just the / mount and all the other mounts like /udef, /boot/efi are missing, right?

Thanks, kopi

marked as duplicate by karel, Fabby, Kevin Bowen, user535733, waltinator Jun 25 '18 at 4:40

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  • I use a simple paper journal to track my important modifications. Easy to restore a working system from stock downloads, and -more importantly- easy to diagnose conflicts with an upgrade. – user535733 Jun 16 '18 at 12:29

The problem with @DavidFoerster's recommendation is that it does not create a full system backup/restore as was asked. It creates a single partition image backup, as per the examples given. Restoring that image does not fully recreate the original bootable system disk.

The other problem is with Clonezilla itself. One of its biggest downfalls is that if you clone/restore a system disk, the target disk must be the exact same size as the source disk, or at least one block larger than the source disk. It cannot restore a clone to a smaller target disk. This means that if you clone your current bootable system disk, then wipe/format that disk, you may not be able to immediately restore it if has developed even a single bad block.

Other entire disk backup solutions should be investigated. You may have to use a Windows-based solution like Macrium Reflect.


I would personally use rsync, there's also a GUI for it, called Grsync. Most backup software freely and commercially available is based on rsync! Here's a guide on how to perform a full system backup with rsync on ArchLinux, should also apply to Ubuntu.

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