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  1. #1

    Backup linux in order to format drive.

    There are many reasons I want to back up my drive. Firstly, the main one is for general backup purposes. Also, I want to resize my partitions (my windows partition is way too big for an OS I never use). I also want to convert my file system to ext3.

    I have heard there is a program similar to Norton ghost for windows. How would I go around getting this and using it? I have an external hard drive. Would I be able to put the image on it and use it once I have re-installed linux? And considering my drive will be larger when I use the image, will I still be able to use the image?

    Also, is there an alternative way, by just copying the contents of my / folder and pasting them back in. I do not imagine this would be possible.

  2. #2
    If you have a LiveCD such as Knoppix, performing a backup like that is very simple. Simply boot the LiveCD, mount the hard drives in question, and copy your data. From there, you can also partition your hard drive, using a utility such as fdisk or parted.

    I do not know of a way to back up data without a LiveCD.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru Cabhan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I have previously used the dd command to image a partition: I then put in a new HD, created a new partition, and wrote the image to the new partition. I had no errors.

    That said, the partitions were the same size, but it should work nonetheless.

    The syntax of the commands is:
    dd if=[ wherever your partition is located] of=[ the file to backup to ]   <-- To backup
    dd if=[ file you backed up to ] of=[ new partition] conv=notrunc  <-- To restore
    Note that the file you backup to will be however large the partition was (aka BIG).

    When I ran it, it was like this:
    dd if=/dev/hdb4 of=hd4_backup
    dd if=hd4_backup of=/dev/hda2 conv=notrunc

    Look into the dd command. There's probably a more GUI way to do it (similar to Ghost), but I dunno it.

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  5. #4
    Would I just be able to copy all the stuff in my "/" directory and put it all on my external drive? Then when I re-install slackware, can I just put it all back on and have everything the same as before I did all that?

  6. #5
    I suppose that could work, if you take the proper precautions. For starters, you don't want to include the directory where the external hard drive is mounted (obviously). You also don't want to include the contents of the /dev, /proc, or /sys directories; these are dynamically populated by the kernel on boot. Finally, you want to shut down system daemons and avoid doing any work while performing the backup; otherwise, you may end up with an inconsistent backup.

  7. #6
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ghost will work for you under the provisos that you
    • make an image of your mbr, or are prepared to reinstal it
    • Are aware that linux partitions will not benefit from compression in Ghost, i.e. the images are made block for block, no compression
    • That if you change the partition order your configuration will hae a lot of trouble. It would be easier to reinstall than repair

    That last one applies obviously to all cloning techniques. Personally I just back up my home directory, and keep the config files only if the same version of the same distro is being put back on.

  8. #7
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    I have managed to back up my drive by using "cp -dpRv" -command, when I was starting with linux. It copies your hard drive to another place just like it is. Maybe dd-program would be better, but when you ask..

    I would suggest you to make a copy to external hard disk, reinstall Slackware, copy your home directory and everything else (conf files, other documents not resided on your home) you need to new OS.

  9. #8
    Linux Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Odessa, FL
    would this work also?
    tar -dvjpPf /network/dir/to/backup.tar.bz2 --directory / --exclude="var/**" --exclude="proc/**" --exclude="mnt/**" --exclude="network/**" .
    the /network/ directory, on my computer, is a directory i set aside for mounts of network shares (server). I've backed up like this once but, thankfully, haven't needed to use it yet...would this work? to restore you'd do something like this, right?
    tar -xvjf /network/dir/to/backup.tar.bz2 /
    or would this not work correctly? it backed up 10 or so gigs of data to around 4 gigs like this

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