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backup suggestions?

chris z

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hi all,

i'm at a point where my system is running pretty nicely & things are pretty much the way i want them (for now). i want to make a back up of my MDK partition(s). i have Norton Ghost 2000. that works well for Window$ partitions, but it doesn't seem to like some Linux formats (ext3). what would anybody suggest to use, to backup my MDK partitons using the following criteria:


1. easy to install software. (rpm preferred, but .tar, .bin, etc. would be ok if it had easy to understand installation instruction)

2. co$t. (free would be best :D , but i'd be willing to pay a reasonable price for something that would do the job properly)

3. interface. (gui would be ideal for me, since i'm still at the bottom of the command line learning curve, but command line might be ok if the instructions/documentation would be in depth & easy to understand)


i burned the partimage .iso that's available in the download section here, but after looking at the documentation, i'm a bit confused on how to use it. it looks very command line based, though it does seem to have a generic (DOS) looking gui. maybe it's because i'm used to the ease of Norton Ghost, i dunno.


anywho, any thoughts, ideas, suggestions would be greatly appreciated. if it helps matters, my MDK partitons are thus:


/ is /dev/hdc7 ext2 1482mb 259mb used

/home is /dev/hdc10 ext2 2455mb 146mb used

/usr is /dev/hdc9 ext3 5111mb 2228mb used


i'll await your wisdom & answers.


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Hi Chris,


I would advise you to use partimage. The boot CD works great. Fast and easy. It's just as easy to use as ghost, just different. :wink: And best of all, it's GPL.


Here are a few good tutorials:









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pardon my ignorance (once again), but i checked out the links you supplied & read the "readme" file in partimage, but i'm still confused. what do i need to do to make it run? i burned the .iso image to disc. there's several files & directories on the disc now. one file is a "boot CD img" file. does that mean that i can use the cd i burned as a bootable CD & if so, does the partimage program automatically open at boot up, or is there a command to make it run? also, i'm asuming it doesn't have this feature (like Norton Ghost), but can partimage be used to burn backup images directly to CD (using my burner), or do you have to make the backups to your hard drive & then burn onto CD from there? sorry, but as usual, i have more questions than answers.


Chris :oops:

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Chris.....no apologies. We're all here to help each other. :wink:


You will have to burn the image after you create it. partimage doesn't support writing directly to cdr. Wish it did.


Boot the CD and there will be some instructions during boot. I have a vfat partition that i save images to and here's how I do it:


1- boot the partimage cd. when you get to the boot prompt, just hit enter.


2- there will be some instructions on how to save images. after you read them, hit Enter to activate the console.


3- then I mount my vfat partition. you have to mount the partition you are writing, but never mount the partition you are imaging.mount -t vfat /dev/hda3 /mnt Hit Enter.


3- now type partimage and hit Enter.


4- highlight the partition you want to image using the up/down arrow. it defaults to the first partition at start.


5- Hit the Tab key to go to image file to create/use


6- Enter the path and name of the image file. since your save-to directory is mounted at /mnt, it would be something like /mnt/hda1-partimg.gz imaging hda1 and using gzip compression.


7- Tab to action to be done and choose save partition into a new image file


8- hit F5 to go to the next screen. choose your compression level and size to split the file in kilobytes, if you want to split it. hit F5 again to start the process.


9- now just OK through a couple of dialogs, enter an image description if you want and sit back and watch it go.


To choose or un-choose options, use the space bar. To restore an image, it's basically the same process only in step 7 you would choose Restore partition from an image file


Hope this helps....



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Excellent instructions Germ. I've found that the only tricky part is designating the path. Partimage won't create directories for you and will give an error message if you designate nonexistent directories, in which case you have to exit partimage and restart it from the command line again. It won't let you go back and correct the error.

I have a directory in my backup partition called images so the path is /mnt/images/july20, because I usually designate the the backuup image by date. Partimage puts three "0" on the end of your filename. If you look after the backup is made you'll see the file is named july20.000. If you do a restore you have to include those three zeroes on the file name or partimage will give you an error.

I also highly recommend partimage. Once you get used to it's little quirks, it's an invaluable tool. Has saved my but many times. Don't feel bad about asking for help on partimage chris z; I had the program for some time before I figured out how to work it properly.Give it a try and post back with any problems/questions that you encounter.

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Hi everyone...



Now that i have my system running nice and smooth....

well, i would like to ask someything about partimage, and its seems this is the thread for it!


Does partimage only do an image of a partition (yeah its a dumb question) or can i make it do an image of the-important-file-system-tree...??

I mean, i dont want to burn 2 or 3 cds just for a backup, i have plenty of wasted MB on different stuff, including not wanted stuff, i want "the files that matter" backedup... its MCC backup utility better for this?


Thanks in advance.

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thanks Germ! :D now those are some instructions that make sense & that i can understand! (why can't they all be that way?!) i won't have time to do a backup until this weekend, but i have one more question. i have 1 empty & 1 semi empty partiton on my hard drive. since partimage can't burn directly to cd, i know (now) that i can use empty partition space to copy my backup images to. after i do that, i can burn those images to CD, to save drive space, if i want. my question is, can part image restore an image from CD, or must the image be left on a hard drive partition in order for a backup to be installed? (hope it never comes to having to resort to a backup, but ya never know. it would be much easier than starting from scratch!)



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sud_crow, The whole partition is backed up. You can use drakebackup to backup your system and any other files.


Chris, I've never tried, but I guess you could mount the cdrom on /mnt and partimage should find it. ;)

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