What software should I use to backup a Linux system ?

By octavian.jurca ·
I have a live server running RH9
on a Dell machine.The HDD are in a RAID5 setup using a hardware RAID controller.

For my peace of mind I would like to create an image of the whole system and store it on a drive in case something happens to the server. This would allow me a faster restore using a bootable media.

I should mention that I cannot afford to take the server down because I am running DNS and Email servers on it. I can maybe have a short maintenence window to get this done.

Could you please recommend me a software that you've used to image a live Linux machine???
or maybe some other solutions.

Thank you.

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by robo_dev In reply to What software should I us ...

Have not used it.

Clonezilla would work, but not while the server is up and running; a disk-to-disk clone would probably run at something like 3gig/minute with SATA, Muuuuuuch slower with USB or firewire.

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maybe these

by markp24 In reply to What software should I us ...


i have heard of these (never personally used them

mondorescue (
luckybackup (

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I would use "rsync" it is very versatile

by ~doolittle~ In reply to What software should I us ...

I use RSYNC to:

- take backups of directories / systems
- perform bare-metal recovery of systems
- convert physical systems to virtual hosts
- move OS from one physical host to another host of different hardware

It is all based on one command:

#rsync -avzHe ssh --exclude "/proc/" root@remote /local-backup/dir > /local-log-file 2>&1 from a backup host - the last four chars are for error output capture to the log file.

So you can just use some spare PC, can be as low end i.e. P4 1.5Ghz w/ 1Gb with a large HDD attached and up and running with access to the root user via ssh.

Any linux os can do for the backup host even a bootable one (I prefer SLAX nowadays, does everything :) all you have to do is format the backup hdd and mount it, then run the rsync command and wait.

To perform system recovery, just format the target host using RH9 with your partition layout, boot up from another bootable OS and perform the backwards rsync. You may have to boot RH9 rescue mode and reinstall the boot loader (lilo/grub etc) and you should be good to go.

Relocation to VM host or radically different hardware is a bit more complex, needs more excludes for hw & volume specific files from the original rsync but works nonetheless.

Many pages on this so google away.


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