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Recommended way to backup computer before upgrade

asked 2013-07-02 13:33:06 -0500

gusennan gravatar image

updated 2013-07-03 05:27:56 -0500

FranciscoD_ gravatar image

Now that Fedora 19 is out, I'm planning on updating my Fedora 18 OS to Fedora 19. Before I do this though, I would like to take a complete backup of my current install to ensure that I can "rollback" pretty painlessly if there are problems on my system after the upgrade. Off the top of my head, I can think of two ways to do this -- cloning the entire hard drive or cloning the just the partitions Linux has access to (EFI, BOOT, HOME, ROOT).

Please let us know what methods have worked well for you in the past.

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answered 2013-07-02 21:31:50 -0500

skytux gravatar image

I use an external HD to make an image of the HD of my notebook using rsync:

$ rsync -avh --delete --stats --exclude=*.vdi --exclude=*.iso --exclude=coredump --exclude=$(HOME)/.local/share/Trash SRC DST

Of course, you can choose your own excludes, I'm only showing you how I use rsync. SRC is the source of your backup (in my case, it is my home directory) and DST is the destination (in my case, it is the mount point of my external HD).

HTH & good luck!


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I do the same, and usually dump something like rpm -qa | tee installed_packages.list into my home directory as well. etckeeper is a nice addition, but probably overkill for use at home.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2013-07-02 22:02:08 -0500 )edit

@randomuser: nice coincidence, I also make a list of installed packages :)

skytux gravatar imageskytux ( 2013-07-02 22:49:20 -0500 )edit

Thanks for the new idea. Would you generally do this for each of the partitions that linux touches or just your home partition?

gusennan gravatar imagegusennan ( 2013-07-03 07:45:44 -0500 )edit

@gusennan: only the home in my case. Good luck!

skytux gravatar imageskytux ( 2013-07-03 12:48:52 -0500 )edit

I also exclude ~/.thumbnails and ~/.cache, and my dropbox folder.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-02-08 12:08:45 -0500 )edit

answered 2013-07-02 19:46:58 -0500

sideburns gravatar image

Generally, I use Back In Time to back up /home to a flash drive that I've reformatted to ext4. The program uses symlinks to represent files that haven't changed since the last backup if it can, saving considerable space. Currently, I have 18.8GB used and 10.2GB free on a 16GB drive.

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How do you restore a back up made with BackInTime, let's say from your /home?

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-02-08 14:02:18 -0500 )edit

I haven't had to do a full restore, but I have restored a directory. (I took one that I didn't need any longer, removed it and restored it.) It worked fine. If you need to know how to restore all of /home, I'd suggest that you check with their website and ask the authors.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2016-02-08 14:06:24 -0500 )edit

No, it's not urgent to know since I am not using BackInTime but I thought of using it in the future (I like the idea of snapshots and saving space through symlink). I justed wanted to check if it's easy and clear to restoring a backup, if needed. Thanks!

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-02-08 14:15:25 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-01-21 15:44:09 -0500

http80 gravatar image

what about all the configurations? can this done with rcync?

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rsync -avh /etc /mnt/yourdestination/etc-backup

hannsandersson gravatar imagehannsandersson ( 2015-09-22 10:47:02 -0500 )edit

Most configuration is stored in hidden .files and .folders in your /home.

florian gravatar imageflorian ( 2016-02-08 11:38:15 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2013-07-02 13:33:06 -0500

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Last updated: Jan 21 '15