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

From: Ricky Huang
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Examples for whole-system backup
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 17:50:26 -0700

On Apr 9, 2015, at 4:36 PM, Leland Best <address@hidden> wrote:


Just thought I'd throw my $0.02 in …

This is exactly what I was looking for.  Your two-cents have helped immensely!

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.

When you use terms “restore” above, you meant “rdiff-backup -r” command, correct?  So that also meant your Live DVD / USB contains the rdiff-backup tool?

Windows is a whole different can of worms, sadly.

I am dealing FreeBSD system, so I can leave the can of Windows worms to someone else.

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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