How to Backup Linux Server with ext4

Hi there,

as you may have guessed im not very familiar with Linux Distros.
I have a Leap 15.X with a ext4 Filesystem.

I would like to make a full Backup of the whole System, how can I achieve that?
I tried dump so far but that didnt work as expected.

I have 2 Drives: “/” (Operating System) and “Media”.

I would like to make a full backup of the operating System, so my command looks like this:

dump -0uf /.0 /Media/Backups

I receive this Error Message:
You can't update the dumpdates file when dumping a subdirectory. The entire Dump is aborted

Does anyone of you can help me with this? Is dumpster the right Tool to achieve my needs?

Thanks in advance

I have no idea how you ended up with this dump command. I can not even find the dump command. I had to search for it in the repos and yes, I found it. It seems to be something specific to ext2/3/4 file systems. Most people use backup tools that are file sytem type independent. Like rsync or more elaborate tools that use rsync.

Please be aware of the fact that “making backups” is sometyhing that people do in different ways, because they have different goals.

Some do it on the file level so they can restore files that are removed/damaged by incident. And can restore all files after a disaster (loss of disk or system). They do not care very much about the operating system (except configuration files in /etc), because a fresh install is often quicker then a restore.

Others will make full byte by byte copies of file systems, or even compete disks.

So, be preapred for all sorts of advice coming to this thread :wink:

Hi Professor,
and welcome to this forum.

Whatever tool to decide to use, if you want to make a backup of your system / it must not be running. Tools that go file by file will fail on running processes, sockets etc. Tools like dd that go byte by byte also must not be started from the file system they are supposed to copy.
And in your special case - I don’t know exactly how dump works - but it seems you are trying to backup a system with subfolders to a file system that is mounted to a subfolder of that system. This can’t work with any tool.
If you really must make a full backup of the system try running a life system from a USB drive. The you can use dd to copy byte by byte from on disk to another (minimum same size).

Best regards

Bender, eh, kasi

That is IMHO the wrong sequence. First you decide on your backup/restore policy, then you find the too(s) with which you can do that. First choosing a tool and then asking yourself “what can I do with it” is not what I prefer. :wink:

Making a full backup of a complete system is something which for many managers is an attractive plan for emergency recovery → system dies → restore the system backup → resume operation.

  • Catch-22: you need either, another machine or, a Live system on a DVD or USB stick, to restore the broken machine’s disk from the whole system backup …

Is there a tool in the openSUSE repositories which can do this?

  • Not that I’m aware of …

But, there’s Clonezilla – <>

How often is something like this needed?

  • If you’re not involved with computer training or schooling then, not often.

Therefore, another backup strategy is often employed:

  • The user files are critical – therefore, regular backups of user file partitions are needed.
  • System files are not so critical (the master copies are in the Linux distribution’s repositories) – apart from the configuration files – therefore, regular backups of the system’s configuration files are needed.
  • If and when a system breaks – as opposed to user files being corrupted – re-install it; reconfigure it; restore the user file partitions.
  • If a user’s files become corrupted – restore the affected user’s directories.