Backup of linux system disk

Hi all,

I am about to rebuild my home server system. I am moving to a first gen epyc, partly for fun, partly that I got it cheap. The board has one nvme m.2 slot that I was thinking of using as the system drive. In my old system I had redundant mirror for the system drive (2x SSDs), I am not sure if I really need that. Its not a mission critical system and I have a rsnapshot backup anyway.

What do other people do for backup of their system drive?

Thanks, Phil

Maybe not for drive images, but I personally use Restic.

I used it to restore my laptop just a few days ago. 10/10.

Small file backup generally just copy to different media.
But for complete system backups i use clonezilla.
Because it has so many options to suit any need.
And its fast too.

A lot of people say clonezilla is too difficult. But its not.
Print out a cheat sheet of clonezillas commands and options and decide what you want to do.
They have 3 different versions
Standard ( single machine) server edition (multiple machine cloning) and rescue ( for recovery purposes)
Check out

Mission critical system OS disks can cloned and in the event of an OS drive failure can be swapped out in a very short time frame and be up and running sooner.


I like the idea of clonezilla, I use it when renewing a system disk already and I hand not really thought about using it to just clone the system drive periodically as a backup method.

Good idea.

Consider znapzend for zfs incremental backups. zfs is not for everyone and that certainly holds true for use on the system drive. I use it for data drives and have no desire to go back to rsync/rsnapshot.

Along the same vein, consider btrbk for incremental backups of a btrfs filesystem. That may be more suitable for a system drive.

I’ll be throwing the spanner in: I don’t backup any system drive. It’s often too cumbersome and time consuming to restore, a fresh install is much, much quicker (at least, for Linux, no idea on others :stuck_out_tongue: ) and settings are usually stored in the /home directory, which should have its own disk or 2 (RAID1). Or 4 (RAID6!). Rsync does incremental backups too, the more I learn about ZFS the less impressed I am about its design. (storing an entire file only once on a single drive in the ZFS pool does not constitute redundancy, IMO :roll_eyes: )


I use often

I have restored images for servers, pc, laptops, sbc…

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I already backup /etc using rsnapshot, but sometimes it useful to have another form of backup.

I am leaning towards clonezilla to grab an image periodically. ESP as a bit of downtime to do it every week or so isn’t a problem for a home server.

Well, OS level configuration settings are stored in /etc, depending on the use of your system, you may find stuff to backup in /root. Finally, the current status of the system including modified data and databases, etc. are living in /var.

To restore my systems I need to backup all of these locations. And yes, I have not done a proper restore test (sort of working through it right now), yet. But I know that all of these are necessary in order to not lose anything and return the machine to its pre-failure state.

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