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I am looking for a disk imaging solution that can run in background when my machine is up and running (e.g. via cron). I am using an Ubuntu machine.

In the past I have used Clonezilla for periodic imaging but would like to do nightly full-disk backups. Also when I last used Clonezilla, I had to boot the machine into clonezilla and then perform the backup. I prefer if the system does not have to reboot and the backup process does not require any manual intervention. When I was an intern at a well-know S/W company I remember that they had a similar solution for windows laptops.

I am aware that I can rsync/cp/dropbox/bacula folders but I really need a full-disk backup solution.

F/OSS solutions preferable but I am open to commercial solutions too.

I am also open to any alternative solution that can do the following: 1. Hibernate my machine 2. Perform the disk imaging. 3. Restore the hibernated session.

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You may find this question informative serverfault.com/questions/23965/… –  Dana the Sane Aug 31 '11 at 17:07
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2 Answers

I've actually used this tool: http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/ and found it to function... but I would 100% NOT rely on it as a backup-tool for disaster recovery. Backing up a running system has too many moving parts to be done on-line reliably. There is still no substitute for backing up your important data files when online... and doing a offline backup of the machine to ensure 100% backups.

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First of with GNU/Linux you don't really need an image. If you use tar/rsync/dar etc. to backup your files (and save the permissions) you are probably more flexible during restore. E.g. you can restore on a smaller partition (And it gets defragmented).

They don't solve the problem of consistence. So either you build or use a script which shuts down all important deamons (like database servers) and then does the backup. Or you use LVM to create a snapshot of your drive and backup the snapshot.

If you really want to do an image backup (e.g. because you have lots of small files and tar would need ages) you could use e.g. partclone to create an image of a snapshot.

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