Not sure what Linux software I would use for this. I'm looking for something like Acronis True Image for Windows, but for Linux. The rule is that we are keeping Windows out of the equation, I want to be able to rely solely on Ubuntu to handle the management and restoration of backup images.
Clonezilla is fairly popular though I've never used it. I would imagine you should be able to install it to its own partition and hack it into grub so it's there as a boot option (which I assume is what you're going for).
But most people just boot to it on CD or USB.
A simple solution is to use the
To back up a drive partition (eg. /dev/sda1), run this command:
dd if=/dev/sda1 of=~/sda1_backup
and to restore:
sudo dd if=~/sda1_backup of=/dev/sda1
For more information on the
dd command, see man dd.
To reduce the space used by the backup images, you could use
bzip2 etc. to compress the images. If you do this, you will need to decompress the images before restoring.
A somewhat newer tool is FSArchiver, which is included on the SystemRescueCD and supports restoring to partitions smaller than the original as long as there is enough space for all files. It works with most filesystems that linux supports, can preserve both "basic" and "extended" attributes (e.g. for SELinux), can compress the archives with lzo, gzip, bzip2 or lzma, and can store the archives encrypted.