Backup software


I’m wondering what backup software is currently being used by those reading this. I was using Acronis, but it has become a puddle of doo-doo with the installation of SuSE 11.x.

Here is what I’m looking for:

  1. Software boots from CD/DVD for BOTH backup and recover.
  2. No installation desired or required.
  3. Ability to backup MBR, entire disk, or individual partion.
  4. Support for multiple OS types.
  5. Ability to restore MBR, entire disk, individual partition, or subset of files.
  6. Only backup “used” sectors, not the entire partition.

It’s not an unrealistic or difficult list, yet most products I’ve looked at cannot come close to meeting it. Acronis has issues booting from CD on various machines due to their dramatically outdated Linux kernel. They fail to meet the bill because they require installation on a Windoze platform to create the CD.

Perfect image can do a fine job of backing up both Windoze and SuSE, but the CD it builds is for recovery only. You have to be in Windoze to do your backup.

I tried CloneZilla. The interface is viciously cryptic and they appear to use the same boot kernel that Acronis does. Never tried doing a restore or figured out how to do backups the way I want.

NovaStor has been a joke since the day it was released so I haven’t bothered looking at it.

Please, if you are one of those people who never performs an image backup of your system, don’t respond. I’m not looking for recommendations about saving just a few files with zip and a script. I’m looking for what I listed above.


I’d like to reply with some questions:

  • have you considered RAID? My /home is on 2 idententical hdd’s. Should one of them crash, the data are still on the other disk.
  • did you ask yourself, why you want all this? Or do you want it because you’ve always done it like this?

My starting in IT was in the eighties, when a basic UNIX install used to last for a day, configuration another day, application install yet another day. But today I save my entire /etc folder, install, configure, update in a bit more than 2 hours.

Maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for in commands/programs like ‘dd’, ‘rsync’ or GUI’s using those. Something based on ‘dd’ should do all the jobs. It can literally duplicate disks.


I backup barebone system disks to a central server using FOG: FOG - A Free Cloning Solution

For daily backups I use rsync to a nfs share on the same server as fog, so it is very easy to make script that restores the other partitions as well after first boot.

There are some issues with motherboards and network cards, you network card must support PXE and be fully supported in the linux image you boot.

I use this – works a treat for doing windows + Linux for me, but needs concentration because of CLI. Does the MBR, Partition table, partitions.
Backup Restore Images of Hard Disk Drive Partitions

This has been a constant problem for me too. After looking at a number of solutions I decided they all fell well short of what I needed. I guess everyone finds this. That’s why we all end up writing our own scripts. People’s requirements really are quite diverse.

The only real advance I’ve made recently is using software RAID for my most critical data. This allows me to take a disk offline, back it up, and then add it back into the RAID array. It means you can get a disk image from a running system - quite useful.

Since I needed image backups now, I had to compromise. I didn’t bother getting an Acronis update. The Linux kernel they use for standalone is sooooooo outdated.

I had to install Perfect Image 11 on the XP partition and create a recovery CD. I cannot boot and backup from the CD, have to boot icky nasty Windows XP. Simply didn’t have the time. All of the Linux specific backup tools had some things in common:

didn’t give sense of confidence

Here’s a thought though. Does the YAST backup utility have the ability to backup MBR, NTFS, and FAT-32 along with Linux partitions to USB drives? If so, then why not put the YAST BACKUP tool on the installation DVD as a menu option under “Repair”? That would mean anyone who obtains the install DVD has all they need to install, repair and recover. Right now you can install and do some repairs, but if the repairs don’t work you have no recovery option.

Does the YAST backup utility have the ability to backup MBR, NTFS, and FAT-32 along with Linux partitions to USB drives

Long story short: No, not an imaging application.