Hi Fred: In your letter, you’ve mentioned a number of useful links to Linux stuff. One thing I would like to know however, having installed SuSE about 6 weeks ago as my first venture in Linux, is HOW DO YOU MAKE A SYSTEM BACKUP IN LINUX? None of the standards like Drive Image and Ghost can even see the ReiserFS partition or contents. I believe one of them in their latest addition has support for Ext3, but I am not sure. Any enlightenment in this area would be greatly appreciated. A google search has produced nothing useful.
I have been using Drive Image for 3 years now in Windows, after you told me that was what you were using, and I feel extremely vulnerable without any ability to back up the Linux partition. Thanks, Karl Tipple
I used to recommend Drive Image, Karl, but that was some time ago. My current recommendation, BootIt, is perfectly happy imaging FAT, FAT32, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3 and ReiserFS file systems; and can directly write images to hard drives or to CD-R/RW or DVD+R+RW-R-RW drives. It’s also a partition manager, letting you create/delete/copy/move/resize partitions at will; and it’s a boot manager, too! Thus, this one $35 tool can replace a separate boot manager, imaging tool, and partitioning tool; typically costing over $100, combined. And it’s vastly more flexible than any of the Windows-based backup/imaging/partitioning tools, because it’s OS independent. See this special issue for more info, including BootIt’s drawbacks: http://langa.com/newsletters/2003/2003-07-03.htm
OS-independent imaging (as above) is the gold standard of backups: Nothing beats it. But if you want a traditional backup solution for Linux, there are many offerings available, both free and commercial. For example, Linspire (formerly "Lindows") has this step-by-step guide that can be adapted to almost any version of Linux: http://langa.com/u/7f.htm
Plus, there are classic guides like this "Linux Complete Backup and Recovery HOWTO" ( http://www.linuxforum.com/linux-backup-recovery.php ); or animated guides like this IBM tutorial on "How to back up your Linux machines" ( http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/l-dw-linuxbu-i.html ; registration required); and lots more general info:
But again, a tool like BootIt works on *any* operating system, so it can back up whatever you’re running, including dual-boot or other setups.