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#1 2017-04-15 03:35:20

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Backup and restore with rsync.

Update: For people doing this on a bios/mbr setup see post #20 below. Are some minor differences, though the cmds-etc as pertains to rsync work the same regardless.

OK well for a long time been meaning to settle on a decent backup solution. Decided to go with rsync, pretty cool util with lotsa nixy goodness cooked in.

Make sure rsync is installed, if not obviously install it. Now credit where due I just went to the blessed Arch wiki and got an overview of the process. With some minor changes.

I not only wanted a backup in this case, I also wanted to move my main install and the shared partition I use to store a lot of data on my laptop. These partitions were stuck in the middle of the hard drive with big unallocated chunks before and after.

Looked messy, so enter rsync to make a backup and then relocate to continuous partitions at the front of the drive.

OK let's get down to it. I already had the shared ext4 formatted partition set to automount with an entry for it in fstab, at /mnt/Data.

Fired up gparted and setup a new partition at the front of my hard drive also formatted as ext4.

Let's say the new one is sda4 and the gnu/nix OS I want to backup is sda7. My shared partition is sda8 in this scenario and as mentioned is already mounted at boot.

I created a directory named Backup on the shared partition and made another directory named hydrogen inside it. Time to make the backup. Make your user root with "sudo su". Then run the following in root terminal.

rsync -aAXv --exclude=/dev/* --exclude=/proc/* --exclude=/sys/* --exclude=/tmp/* --exclude=/run/* --exclude=/mnt/* --exclude=/media/* --exclude=/lost+found / /mnt/Data/Backup/hydrogen/ --delete

Hit enter and rsync will do its magic. I'm excluding a bunch of directories above because they are populated at system boot and excluding mnt and media because I don't want rsync to copy my whole shared data partition mounted at /mnt/Data to itself.

Once rsync finished I had a complete backup of my OS. Now I want to move it to a new partition on the drive(sda4). I need to edit a couple of the files in the backup I just made. As root I open the /etc/fstab file in the backup and change the root partitions UUID to be the one for sda4(find it with the "sudo blkid" command). Then I commented out all the other entries except for the ESP-efi partition and the new one for root(sda4).

Next it's time to edit the grub.cfg file in the backup. You'll find it at /boot/grub/ in the backup. Again open and edit the file as root-etc. I have to change all the UUID entries for the old /root partition(sda7's) to the new UUID(sda4's) and also have to change the partition numbers to point to sda4.

You'll see repeated entries of 'gpt7' = sda7, I had to change these to 'gpt4' = sda4. The partition I'm moving the OS to here.

Now that those files have been edited, time to mount the target partition so I can use rsync to copy the backup over to it. I create a mount point with.

sudo mkdir /mnt/temp

And then mount sda4 on it.

sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda4 /mnt/temp

If you're using another file format than ext4, obviously you'll have to change the above command.

Ok time to fire up rsync again and copy the backup to sda4. As root or using sudo, I went with root clearly.

rsync -av /mnt/Data/Backup/hydrogen/ /mnt/temp/

Wham, it's all copied to sda4 and I'm ready to boot the OS off the new partition. In the running OS I just did this in.

sudo update-grub

To add the new install to its boot menu. Unmount sda4,

sudo umount /dev/sda4

Remove the temp mount point

sudo rmdir /mnt/temp

Ok reboot the system and select the new install. If you've followed along correctly, it boots right up.

Now I also didn't want to keep the old install, so reinstalled grub from the new one with.

sudo grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi

That's what it does, replacing the other os's grub. Afterwards "sudo update-grub" reboot and the OS you setup will be listed first in boot menu.

After checking things out for a bit, went ahead and used gparted to delete the old installs partition.

Rsync is kickbutt fellows, Vll! The End. smile


IMPORTANT: If you go to relocate the backup made to another partition, let's say you're going for sda4 and the install rsync'ed was on sda6, when you go to edit the grub.cfg file, make sure you get rid of all instances of gpt6 in the file, replacing them with gpt4 = sda4. Or in the case of bios/mbr ... all instances of msdos6, replaced with msdos4. Ok fellas. smile

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-11-15 01:31:38)

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#2 2017-04-15 03:51:16

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Some babble notes, know I didn't cover moving and copying over the shared partition, it's the same process as described above. Also I could've just mounted the source partition and target and used rsync to copy the OS to target directly. I wanted a backup on the shared partition.

The first time I used rsync to backup the OS took roughly 15mins on this pc. From now onward, rsync will only copy changes from the running OS to the backup on my data partition. Only taking a blink, depending upon how much has changed on the OS o course. Awesome! smile

Also apparently I can't spell rsync for chit, lol, all corrected now. tongue

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2017-04-15 05:12:19)

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#3 2017-05-25 07:12:56

KrunchTime
Member
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 857

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Wished I had seen this, and gave it serious consideration, before doing this.

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#4 2017-05-25 21:50:52

BLizgreat!
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Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

That stinks Krunch, hope you've got backups. Am not a Nix ninja, I just play one on various forums but rsync seems to work fairly well for the purposes of backing up. Add it to your arsenal fellow nixer.

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#5 2017-11-20 23:13:36

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Wanted to add some updated babble about this, clarify some stuff I've found and hopefully some valid tips/pointers for it too.

Ok, well have found it's better to have a freshly formatted target partition(the one you're going to restore it to.) As mentioned already in this how-to, is very important that you change the /etc/fstab file in the backup to be the target partitions UUID and if you're going to change something like the /root file system's file format, that needs to be done in fstab. You also want to do such formatting BEFORE you edit this or the file I'm going to get to in a sec.

Every time you format a partition it's UUID is going to change. If I ran "sudo blkid" copied over the present UUID for ie: /dev/sda5 and editing the fstab file prematurely, in the backup I'm planning to move/restore somewhere, guess what, yep it's going to be wrong and the restore won't work until it's been corrected.

Equally the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file has to be correct in the restore for it to be correct on the OS when it is restored to whichever partition or hdd-etc. Mentioned already 2 things must be changed to be right in this file. the root= which is the partition it was installed on, every instance of that in the grub.cfg file has to be changed to be the destination you're planning on restoring to ie: set root='hd0,msdos2' That is /dev/sda2, hd0=sda, hd1 would be sdb and so on. msdos2 in the example is o course sda2, the second partition, if I were trying to move this OS to /dev/sda3 it'd be ie: 'hd0,msdos3'. Many the text editor comes with the handy find and replace, you enter what you want it to find in the file and what you want that to be replaced with and wham,wham,wham easy, it does that.

This also works with UUID's, you will need to change the UUID of the partition or hdd you intend to restore to, you'll find it clearly in the file and again, you'll find the destination partitions UUID with "sudo blkid". Again simply using find/replace makes this a snap.

Bootloader, after restoring this backup wherever. Not a bad idea to use Xoas52's or Hoas's or whoever else's chroot how-2 examples to chroot the OS on that partition and run "sudo update-grub" if it's using grub2 as it's bootloader. Just so grub fires up and explores the OS's new home and kernels etc.

Also if it's not the OS controlling the boot on that hdd/etc. Fire up the one which is and "sudo update-grub" in it too, so it finds and adds that recently restored OS's and is able to boot it no problemo.

* BONUS babble:

I added a bash alias to well ... yeah the .bash_alias file in my users /home. Here it is by way of ie:

alias backup="sudo rsync -aAXv --exclude=/dev/* --exclude=/proc/* --exclude=/sys/* --exclude=/tmp/* --exclude=/run/* --exclude=/mnt/* --exclude=/media/* --exclude=/lost+found / /mnt/data/.Backup/"

So whenever I pop open a term and type "backup" it executes the command and rsync's whatever changes to my backup directory at the path shown above.

My shared ext4 partition on sdaX is automounted at /mnt/data/.Backup < .Backup is just a .dot directory, meaning it's hidden until I show hidden files, rsync doesn't care about that, works the same. I just don't want a directory named Backup showing in plain sight in my Nix share partition.

* Now to make the restore process I've used clear(er.)

You can do this easily from live-session, have done it but am not going to reinvent the wheel with the how's, google is open 24/7, just exercise common sense and no harm can befall you anyway.

***The MOST important thing, with any approach via live or as described below, make SURE you DO NOT mount the wrong partition, like one with an OS or important data on it and then turn rsync loose on it, you WOULD be sorry, make sure the path to target IS CORRECT. Other than that via live it's just a matter of creating mounts, mounting the source and target/destination partitions and using the right path to them in the live session so the restore gets from where it's going to the CORRECT place you're wanting it.***

Often opt to do it from another gnu/Nix OS installed on the system. Tend to think it's a good idea to keep a backup install just as I definitely feel is good to keep an incremental backup plan in place and use it often.

Anyway so I'll fire up that unborked OS, in my case the shared partition is automatically mounted as shown at /mnt/data/.Backup < Yep backup is in there. So I mount the target partition or hdd. Lets say it(the target partition am planning to restore to) in this case is sda3 and it's formatted as ext4 ie:
* Create a mount point.

sudo mkdir /mnt/temp

* Mount it on that mount point with the right file format and the target partition.

sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/sda3 /mnt/temp

* Now am ready for da MAGIC n da POWA of da gnu/Nix to do it's thing. Issue the command to rsync the contents of my source(directory), in this case it's in a .directory or the source partition, if you're using a dedicated partition to hold backups or whatever.

sudo rsync -av /mnt/data/.Backup/* /mnt/temp

And that's what it does, rsync's everything in the /source to the /target. Am not a rsync flag expert, any doubt's consult google, though this works for me. Could almost certainly use the original flags in place of "rsync -av" and would work fine too, "rsync -aAXv", have done it both ways. Note: You obviously don't need all the --exclude/mnt etc while restoring, thus why they're left out eh.

* Lastly unmount the target partition.

sudo umount /dev/sda3

Run "sudo update-grub" perhaps or etc as babbled about above and reboot. Anyway, hope this is entertaining/helpful. Comments, feedback, esp any refinements all welcomed.

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2017-11-21 02:10:27)

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#6 2017-11-21 02:31:38

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Couple more thoughts about this.

1. As I've done above with the backup alias in .bash_aliases, someone could likewise set up a restore alias, with the right paths already, ready to go in it, if say the idea was to backup a certain OS and easily restore it to it's same partition if something goes wrong, ie: restore alias in install/OS A. when used, restores Os B. on the system and vice versa.

a.) Oops, though dang it, in keeping with the better to format blahblah, it'd be mucho more complicated than a simple alias, might work honestly but rsync will copy over changes, so not sure. The borked files causing whichever problem may not be replaced or overwritten, thus still there, causing xyz-problem that prompted the restore in the 1st place.

b.) Guess right tool/cmd for job, dd ? It could give a fark less, whatever is on the target IS getting overwritten, shrugs. Though this is another babble how-2 and rsync fits my needs for incremental backup/restore well enough for now. Also looking over simply using tar too. Other junk for reducing space backing up takes. Honestly think tar would work fairly dang well for easy backup/restore alias application.

c.) Though am sure there's an easy way to utilize compression along with rsync too, as yet obviously haven't invested enough time, have done plenty of reading on this n that related to this though. Will have to hit google up on the matter. Edit: Could no doubt compress it after the fact, the directory it's in etc. Like the convenience atm of just typing backup and wham, watching whatever changes I've done shuffle off over to the backup .directory.

2. Another random babble about this. Sheesh need to set up a crontab or script etc to run occasionally and remind me to backup my OS. Pop up a message like "Hey dork ... when's the last time you backed this operating system up, ya know ya got an alias ? Do it, do it now, before you break it again !" big_smile

a.) Should've kept my mouth shut and not posted this post ! Arghhhh it's gnu/Linux, as such there's just too many kickarse ways to do whatever, end babble and thinks about visiting the Debian, Arch and Ubuntu wiki's to see what they have to say about all such matters and good tools for it etc. However I've used this for awhile now and know it works, though don't guarantee it'll work in every poss setup. One last bit of babble advice, a backup/restore method which hasn't been tested, is not something you want to rely on ... yanno ? So use a testing partition, virtual-machine or whatever. The time to find out your backup plan doesn't work IS NOT, when you need it most.

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2017-11-21 03:48:41)

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#7 2017-11-21 05:17:19

tknomanzr
BL Die Hard
From: Around the Bend
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,029

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

^ The -z flag enables compression in rsync. However, it more of an over-the-wire type of compression. Take your backup, then .tar.gz it

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#8 2017-11-21 05:20:41

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

^ Thanks and yeah, know. Also have one interesting word for ya "apt-cache show pigz" Ya probably already have seen mention or played with such but think it's friggin cool as hades the parallel de/compression utils for gnu/Linux. Nothing new, they've been around for a LONGGGGGG time already, shrugs.

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2017-11-21 05:20:58)

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#9 2017-11-26 08:13:44

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Just wanted to add some babble to this sucker:

ALSO wanted to point out, this is a great method if you want to move a gnu/Linux OS and/or partitions around for whatever reason, want to easily change the /root file-systems file format, ie: From ext4 to xyz-other. Stuff like cleaning up the layout of partitions on a hdisk, to move an OS to another drive, ie: Got a shiny new SSD and want to relocate it there instead of the drive it's presently on etc.

Think was mentioned in the OP, that was a big part of why I dorked with this, wanted to relocate an OS from a rear partition, to a new partition on front of the hdd and move a shared data partition etc. Super simple if that's someone's intent. Format/mount destination partition, issue the rsync command and let it finish copying everything over to the new partition, fire up file-manager of choice as root, ie:"gksudo thunar" in run-dialogue etc. Click your way through to the migrated OS on it's new partition. Change the the fstab and grub.cfg file(s) in it so they're correct, "sudo update-grub" in the OS/install with control of the boot and WHAM, done. Though appears to work well as an incremental backup/restore option too.

Total elapsed time = 25mins or less, depending.

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#10 2017-11-30 05:06:10

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Yeppers as per above, used it the other day to restore my Hydrogen-hybrid OS onto a partition with another file format, I wasn't liking xps, probably due to ignorance in how to use/tune it etc. Simply didn't want to use it anymore. Reformatted the OS's partition ext4, restored it as per above instructions and wham, am happier now. The switch alone, knocked a couple secs off that Os's boot-time. Not that it's a big deal but it's nice to be able to do this junk.

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#11 2019-11-12 20:57:37

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Ok well had to update this puppy to. Added a bit to the cmd used in the OP, specifically this --delete what it does is delete any files on the target which aren't on the source you're rsync'ing from. Although have used this successfully extensively without it. Moved OS's around, restore them from such backups all over the place too. Works well but did want to include the --delete deal. If only for the sake of being thorough fellows.

Another thing about this type of thing. Recently got a new install setup, got it to the point I considered it backup worthy and then did so via the method described here. However one thing I noticed and was highly irritated by, the friggin FF cache being stored on disk was 800mbs !!!! So if inclined someone may definitely want to clear FF's cache and/or could also just exclude it. Provided they don't really care about such and I didn't. So mucho time (rsync doing it's thing)and almost a gig of disk space for a stupe FF cache I don't care about.

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#12 2019-11-12 21:17:47

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 5,272

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

BLizgreat! wrote:

Ok well had to update this puppy to. Added a bit to the cmd used in the OP, specifically this --delete what it does is delete any files on the target which aren't on the source you're rsync'ing from. Although have used this successfully extensively without it. Moved OS's around, restore them from such backups all over the place too. Works well but did want to include the --delete deal. If only for the sake of being thorough fellows.

Another thing about this type of thing. Recently got a new install setup, got it to the point I considered it backup worthy and then did so via the method described here. However one thing I noticed and was highly irritated by, the friggin FF cache being stored on disk was 800mbs !!!! So if inclined someone may definitely want to clear FF's cache and/or could also just exclude it. Provided they don't really care about such and I didn't. So mucho time (rsync doing it's thing)and almost a gig of disk space for a stupe FF cache I don't care about.

For regular backups I would use --exclude-from=FILE, which has such things as /tmp, caches etc. in it. It saves having a long list of --exclude parameters every time, and is much easier to use IMO.

Although for archiving/backing up an install I use fsarchiver, after cleaning stuff out.


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#13 2019-11-13 03:53:14

johnraff
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From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 6,088
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Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

damo wrote:

For regular backups I would use --exclude-from=FILE, which has such things as /tmp, caches etc. in it. It saves having a long list of --exclude parameters every time, and is much easier to use IMO.

What I do too, seems to work pretty well. Took some stopping the backup halfway through when I found it was filling the target disk with some app's cached garbage, edit the exclude file, repeat...
Luckily rsync is good at picking up when a backup is interrupted, and eventually the exclude file gets to cover everything. A "nobackup" directory where you can temporarily move some big iso file you don't need backed up also helps (eg in ~/Downloads).

Although for archiving/backing up an install I use fsarchiver, after cleaning stuff out.

Thanks for the hint. I still have to deal properly with all that stuff. Up till now, just install system, import rsync backup of files.

And @Biscuit thanks for reviving this topic - never gets stale. smile


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#14 2019-11-13 06:47:24

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Thanks for all the tips and feedback fellows. It's always good to hear from guys I know have more than a tad of first-hand experience. I do need to brush up on my backup techniques. This thing(how-to)is long proven to me though. Been using such for many years in a lot of situations and works great. Though do want the target to be identical to the source being rsync'ed too. For using incremental backups anyway.

Have heard of the fsarchiver thingy, beyond that never bothered learning more about it, again ... I need to and appreciate the added info about easy ways to exclude junk from backups. That was 800mbs of drek I didn't even want. It's easy enough to sort though, being gnu/linux never a shortage of options ! big_smile

Still have much to learn about all this(and always will.) Endlessly reading about all the related junk. Tarring or encrypting these backups etc etc. It's also very funny to go back and read former posts from long ago. See how things and changed, how much you've learned along the way. Though is dang near impossible to track every tute/how-2 etc a nixer has done and try to update the things ! Anyway thanks again guys. smile

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-11-13 07:37:54)

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#15 2019-11-13 08:34:31

damo
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Registered: 2015-08-20
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Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

What I really like about fsarchiver is the ability to archive a whole partition, which then acts like a snapshot, so it can be used to replace an install I have subsequently f***ed up!


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#16 2019-11-13 08:59:22

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
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Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Definitely no shortage of options/alternatives. Based on who's recommending it will make time to check out fsarchiver Damo. smile

This method works and works well (for me.)Definitely important to have a "PROVEN" backup/restore method in place. The time to find out what xyz-nixer has settled on is bogus and doesn't work IS NOT, when they need it most. Though that's what I'm doing in this, for my use. I keep all things for an install / and /home on one partition. So it is backing up and can restore the whole thing or could refine it and just do the / (all system junk) and leave /home out of it too of course. As is if just wanted to unbork with this, just have to reverse the source and target partitions. The partition UUID's and fstab won't have changed. As outlined if wanted to move it to a new location or partition or to another pc, have to fiddle with the backups fstab and grub.cfg file. Doesn't take much regardless.

Am planning on expanding on this, as many providers will give you X-amount of free diskspace for storage online. ie: Believe google gives folks 10gbs. So tarring and encrypting to secure the dang thing and reduce the transfer size would be cool. All easily enough done with gnu/Linux, shrugs. As is, just need to rsync this baby to a thumb drive, so it's off the local hdd. A backup kept in one place is better than nothing but keeping them off-site is obviously better for many reasons. This 10yr old hdd fails on me all of my stuff and nixy goodness may be gone forever, NOOOOOOO !!!! sad

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-11-13 09:09:32)

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#17 2019-11-13 13:50:44

clusterF
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Registered: 2019-05-07
Posts: 316

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

damo wrote:

What I really like about fsarchiver is the ability to archive a whole partition, which then acts like a snapshot, so it can be used to replace an install I have subsequently f***ed up!

One can password protect their backup with fsarchiver as well.


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#18 2019-11-13 14:46:05

BLizgreat!
Resident Babbler - vll!
Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

That's another vote for fsarchiver. Though dang guys, errrr the thread ( MY THREAD BTW hmm ) is about backup/restore (or relocating) with rsync !!!! Messing around fellas. Still busy doing nothing and so haven't as yet looked over what fsarchiver can do. It's on the 2-dork list now though. smile

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#19 2019-11-13 15:00:58

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
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Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

BLizgreat! wrote:

... errrr the thread ( MY THREAD BTW hmm ) ...

One for the Quotes? big_smile


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#20 2019-11-13 15:29:06

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

^ big_smile

Dammit ! Just noticed this is for Gpt/uefi, which was my last lappy. This old thing is a bios/mbr pc and it (rsync) works exactly the same anyway. Though are some minor differences when it comes to editing the grub.cfg file (rather than the 'gpt6' for sda6 it'll be "msdos6")and also the command used to install grub, in the case of an mbr it'd be "sudo grub-install /dev/sda" or whichever hdd you're doing this with ... /dev/sdb etc.

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-11-15 00:51:50)

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#21 2019-11-14 12:04:52

BLizgreat!
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Registered: 2015-10-03
Posts: 1,217

Re: Backup and restore with rsync.

Going to babble some more (bet nobody saw that coming. tongue )

While not spec to the topic, is associated with it. Mentioned the idea(BAD) of somebody keeping all eggs in 1 basket. Also even though I have a thumb-drive I could backup to now, if this old drive were to fail on me, I'd be boned. So the very sound concept of off-site backup is a dang good one ...

As mentioned are plenty of providers in the world who give a person whatever amount of free online cloud storage space. Am not recommending anyone in particular. Though the general idea is this type of thing. Rsync can easily backup over network too, many fairly straight forward ways of doing so are all uber-documented on the webz.

Also not touching on encryption methods etc etc. That's up to each nixer and also documented extensively online. Ok fellas, feel I've done my good babble deed in this, also ...

Note2self: Follow your own damn advice dude, this old hdd conks out, you're screwed !!! At least use the friggin usb drive, gawds ! tongue

Last edited by BLizgreat! (2019-11-14 12:06:00)

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