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Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Examples for whole-system backup

From: Leland Best
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Examples for whole-system backup
Date: Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:36:17 -0600


Just thought I'd throw my $0.02 in ...

On Thu, 2015-04-09 at 11:29 -0700, Matt Taggart wrote:
> address@hidden writes:
> > On Thursday, April 09, 2015 02:41:44 AM you wrote:
> > > I'm sure that you could devise some scheme to do a full metal restore
> > > with rdiff-backup, but in my opinion, it's not the tool for the job.
> > Not the OP, but what do you recommend (in the LInux world, please, as that 
> > is
> > what I use...)?
> My knowledge is possibly old, but it's still working for me. Maybe others 
> can point out if there are newer solutions to this problem.

Although not "one-click" rdiff-backup has worked well for me for Linux
bare-metal restores (both test cases and real dead machine, disk,
whatever, cases).  I create a rdiff-backup backup of each partition or
major data area (typically root, boot, home, and public which may or may
not be separate partitions).  I do copy the boot sector via 'dd' but
rarely use it.  To restore to a new machine/drive I boot it with a
Debian Live DVD (or USB stick or whatever), restore root and boot,
reboot with a GRUB rescue CD and boot the restored root system in single
user as 'root', restore everything else, and finally install GRUB in the
MBR.  One tip though.  I backup root and boot with
--preserve-numerical-ids because the user/group mappings are invariably
different on the Live DVD.

Windows is a whole different can of worms, sadly.

> One way of getting what you are asking for is taking raw images of the 
> partitions or whole disk.

This is what I have to do with Windows machines/partitions.  I've tried
using rdiff-backup to back up Windows partitions but on restore the
permissions/ACLs are wrong.  (I posted about this a long time ago but,
obviously, the issue was never resolved).  So instead, I image the
partitions (I use ntfs-clone from the ntfs-3g package for NTFS, and
partimage for FAT, but whatever ...) then backup the _images_ with
rdiff-backup.  Typically the rdiff-backup increments are about 10% of
the size of the space _in_use_ on the partition.  Have only done
restores on machines that dual boot with GRUB though.  No idea if it'd
work with a "pure" Windows machine.

So, yes, it takes some work but once I got the procedure down it's not
bad.  The typing time is nothing compared to the actual restore time.
And the space savings using rdiff-backup vs. other tools makes it well
worth it to me.  Of course, as always, YMMV.


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