Back up a little…

Working with Linux distribution Kubuntu full time for the last 4 months has been a pleasure compared to the years I worked with Windows (2000/XP). To pick one example I have always been struggling with on Windows: Backup & Recovery.Because I’m doing all sorts of things on my Linux laptop, I also have a LOT of files hanging around: Test files, transformations, jobs, test-code, branches, images, screen-caps, screen shots, +50k e-mails, the list goes on.

Originally I thought about scheduling a big “cp -pR” to an external hard disk, but I was pleasantly surprised that Kubuntu ships with Keep by default.

Keep backup

Using this program I have been synchronizing my home folder (/home/matt) to an external hard disk. It works using rsync and starts automatically around 23:00 every 2 days.

However… what about the software, the configuration files, the fixes, the updates and in general all the customizations that I did to my system? What about those? Well, I came across a piece of software called Mondo Rescue.

Mondo backup

Mondo Rescue can be installed on your Ubuntu system using the Adept software installer or with the command:

sudo apt-get install mondo

What Mondo does is create a backup of your complete system. Basically it puts all the information from your hard disk onto CD/DVD and even makes the first CD or DVD booteable. That way I can re-create my laptop from bare-metal in case of a HD crash, theft, upgrade problems or regular plain old stupidity.

Command mondoarchive allows you to specify where you want to backup the data to (HD, CD, DVD) and the directories you don’t want to see included.

Be aware that the mondoarchive backup will take many hours to run and you typically fire this up during the night using cron. mondoarchive can be run using the command-line as well.  Backup can happen directly to .iso files so that you can burn those to CD/DVD the next morning for an even greater peace of mind. Together with Keep (or rsync for the fans) you can make sure your system is safe from harm.

Until next time,


1 thought on “Back up a little…”

  1. Thanks for the useful information Matt. Just yesterday i went about reinstalling ubuntu about 6 times trying to get bits to work. But now i have a nice clean working machine i think i will make a mondo backup and that should speed up the next 6 installs!

    All the best, Harris

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