Serious backup options for linux

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Linux system backup

When targeting a true full system backup, disk image backup (as required for this investigation) offer substantial advantage (detailed bellow) compared to files based backup.

With files based backup disk/partition structure is not saved; Most of the time for a full restore, the process is a huge time consumer in fact many time consuming steps (like system reinstall) are required; and finally backing up installed applications can be tricky; Image disk backup avoid all these cons and restore process is a one shot step.

Tools like clonezilla, fsarchiver are not suitable for this question because they are missing one or multiple requested features.

As a reminder, luks encrypted partition are not dependent on the used file system (ext3/ext4/etc.) keep in mind that the performance are not the same depending on the chosen file system (details), also note that btrfs (video-1, video-2) may be a very good option because of its snapshot feature and data structure. This is just an additional protection layer because btrfs snapshot are not true backups! (classic snapshots reside on the same partition).

As a side note, in addition to disk image backup we may want to do a simple file sync backup for some particular locations, to achieve this, tools like rsync/grsync (or btrfs-send in case of btrfs) can be used in combinaison with cron (if required) and an encrypted backup destination (like luks-partition/vault/truecrypt). Files based backup tools can be: rsync/grsync, rsnapshot, cronopete, dump/restore, timeshift, deja-dup, systemback, freefilesync, realtimesync, luckybackup, vembu.


Initial situation as an example (requirement/limitation)

Requirement:


#Annotations

lsblk --fs output:


#Method #1

Backup the original luks disk/partition (sda or sda1) encrypted as it is to any location

Cons for #1: backup size, compression, and incremental backups can be tricky

#Method #2

This method is for disk without encryption or to backup the mapped luks un-encrypted partition crypt_sda1/crypt_sda2… An encrypted backup destination location (like luks-partition/vault/truecrypt) or an encrypted archive/image if the backup tool support such feature is recommended.

Cons for #2: disk headers, mbr, partitions structure, uid etc. are not saved additional backup steps (detailed bellow) are required for a full backup


#Note:


#Alternatives:


#Other tools

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