Back up methods
I'm using open SuSE 12.2 with gnome and have a medion NAS-SERVER. Does anyone know any easy terminal commands to copy my settings, installed software and user files. At TAFE I was told that you can just copy the home and root partitions to an external storage to back up. then copy them back to the partitions to restore. Is this true. Or is there a better way to back up my system. :p
You don't really need to copy your installed software - especially if its all installed from your package manager. If you were ever to need your backups, you'd just install the packages again using the package manager.
Your system settings are mostly in /etc/... but you may want to check any configurations that you've changed (for example stuff in /var/named/ if you've configured a DNS server). Really you only need to back up configuration files that you've changed yourself. Anything you're using the defaults for will be installed again with the defaults if ever you're rebuilding because of disaster recovery.
To preserve the contents of your home directories, you may find that you don't need to back up everything, perhaps just the ~/Documents or maybe other standard directory names.
Other stuff you may want to back up is perhaps any web sites (maybe /var/www, but depends on your distribution - I don't know where SuSE keeps this) or maybe mailbox directories or static DHCP assignments.
To do the actual backup, it's common to use tools like tar. It can do compression for you if you like, but for some of my backups I pipe the output through 7zip to squeeze an extra bit of compression out of them.