I found this on an old posting from 2006 about how to back up and restore your Ubuntu machine. http://www.arsgeek.com/2006/10/18/how-to-back-up-and-restore-your-ubuntu-machine/

First they suggest changing to your external hard drive with:

cd/media/Free* (Freeagent is my external hard drive.)

Then mkdir ubuntu_backup or some such name.

Change to that directory and then: sudo tar cvpzf ubuntusettings.backup.tgz2 --exclude="/tmp/" / (The ubuntusettings is my backup's name.)

The switches are:

  • c = create
  • v = verbose
  • p = preserve permission
  • z = bzip2
  • f = file
  • --exclude is just the folders you want to exclude.

I tried it out, and it does begin to back-up; but what I noticed is that it was backing up my entire laptop...that includes Windows. I did not want that but rather I am wondering if anyone knows how to modify this so that it only backs up the Ubuntu section of my laptop? I have Ubuntu for Windows installed on a Vista machine.

  • Did you install Ubuntu using the LiveCD (partitioning) or by using Wubi? Also, do you have a link back to the posting you mentioned at the start of your question? – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 9 '11 at 22:42
  • Hi Warrioring64 ... I have added the link into the original posting ... thanks – railguage48 Nov 10 '11 at 13:29

To preform a complete wubi system backup copy your root.disk file from your ubuntu folder within windows to another location, if something bad happens you just need to replace the current file with the one you backed up and your system will be back to what it was at the time of the backup.

You can even mount the root.disk file within Ubuntu if you want to partially restore some files only:

sudo mkdir /mnt/rootdisk
sudo mount -o loop <path to share in windows>/root.disk /mnt/rootdisk

Will mount your root.disk to a the path /mnt/rootdisk.


Do you mean you have a wubi install? If so, add exclude="/host".

  • Thanks Warrioring64 and William for your replies. Yes I was using Wubi. Here is the link to the original post I was speaking of. arsgeek.com/2006/10/18/… Can you also speak to how to re-install the backup. – railguage48 Nov 10 '11 at 13:26
  • Okay, add the option –exclude=”/host/*” to the command and it will exclude everything on your Windows drive. – William Nov 10 '11 at 13:54
  • Hi William, sorry to bother you again, to re-install they suggest that you navigate back to your external drive and to you backup folder then: sudo tar xvpfz ubuntusettings.tgz2 -c/ ..... would this be correct for my situation ... namely windows vista with Ubuntu for window? ... also do you know where I can look up what the x switch means? .... Thanks – railguage48 Nov 10 '11 at 16:00

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