Ubuntu Discussion on Ubuntu on the Dell Inspiron Mini range of netbooks.

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yakinikku yakinikku is offline
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Default backup software like acronis for ubuntu - 07-26-2009, 09:43 AM

anyone know of anything like this? i change OSes on my mini so often that i need something that allows me to just start up where i left off. reinstalling everything is a PITA. TIA
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Z4i Z4i is offline
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Default 07-26-2009, 07:51 PM

If you have enough space on another computer to hold it all, there are two utilities you can use in combination.

The first one is called "dd", I'm not sure what it stands for but I use the mnemonic "data dumper". The other is called "netcat" which lets you send messages over the network to another computer.

On another unish computer (not sure if Cygwin will work, I know SFU doesn't come with netcat but does have dd, linux works, bsd works, solaris works), you would run something like

$ nc -l [port number] | dd of=[output file]

The order is important, if nc isn't listening on that port when you try to send a message to it, it won't work, you'd run

# dd if=/dev/[SSD's device name] bs=4096 | nc [ip address of the other computer] [port number]

This will dump the contents of the SSD, bit for bit, onto the network, destined for the IP address you give at the port you give, and upon arrival, it will be saved as [output file]. You can choose any port you want, though I usually use 9001 because it's over 9000. Don't actually use the brackets, just fill them with the port (e.g. 9001), the output file name (e.g. dellmini.img), the SSD device name (probably /dev/sda or /dev/hda), and the IP address of the listening computer (the one you ran the first command on).

So an example might look like

$ nc -l 9001 | dd of=/home/dellmini.bak

running on a computer with IP address 192.168.1.100, and

# dd if=/dev/sda bs=4096 | nc 192.168.1.100 9001

Running on any other computer on that LAN. Then when you want the image back, boot the Ubuntu LiveUSB and run

# nc -l 9001 | dd of=/dev/sda

and on your other computer, run

$ dd if=/home/dellmini.bak | nc 192.168.1.101 9001

Use the actual IP address of the mini, it may not be 192.168.1.101


This works great for me because I have big drives in my desktop, and the mini 9 has a very small SSD. If you have a computer you can dedicate as a server, it would make sense to use that instead. How well it works for you depends on how well you understand what's going on and whether you have suitable computers and network setup to do this.

You may need to use sudo on the ones using dd. I personally prefer to get a root shell as opposed to sudoing all the time.

If you are low on space on the machine you're backing up the image to, or if you have a slow network, or for any other reason you want to compress it, you can try gzipping or bzipping or lzma compression in the middle of the pipe there. That would look like

dd if=/dev/sda bs=4096 | gzip | nc 192.168.1.100 9001

Personally I don't use compression because it's simpler to not use it.

Oh, and depending on the OS, there may be extra flags needed for netcat. Some use -p to specify the port, some just use -l and assume that what follows is the port you want to listen on. Read manpages for any questions, if you still can't find an answer I'll be around.


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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 07-26-2009, 11:50 PM

I like the simplicity of dd plus gzip. But a smarter solution is partimage.


Mini 9 | Intel 5100 Wifi | Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook
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yakinikku yakinikku is offline
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Default 07-27-2009, 04:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4i View Post
If you have enough space on another computer to hold it all, there are two utilities you can use in combination.

The first one is called "dd", I'm not sure what it stands for but I use the mnemonic "data dumper". The other is called "netcat" which lets you send messages over the network to another computer.

On another unish computer (not sure if Cygwin will work, I know SFU doesn't come with netcat but does have dd, linux works, bsd works, solaris works), you would run something like

$ nc -l [port number] | dd of=[output file]

The order is important, if nc isn't listening on that port when you try to send a message to it, it won't work, you'd run

# dd if=/dev/[SSD's device name] bs=4096 | nc [ip address of the other computer] [port number]

This will dump the contents of the SSD, bit for bit, onto the network, destined for the IP address you give at the port you give, and upon arrival, it will be saved as [output file]. You can choose any port you want, though I usually use 9001 because it's over 9000. Don't actually use the brackets, just fill them with the port (e.g. 9001), the output file name (e.g. dellmini.img), the SSD device name (probably /dev/sda or /dev/hda), and the IP address of the listening computer (the one you ran the first command on).

So an example might look like

$ nc -l 9001 | dd of=/home/dellmini.bak

running on a computer with IP address 192.168.1.100, and

# dd if=/dev/sda bs=4096 | nc 192.168.1.100 9001

Running on any other computer on that LAN. Then when you want the image back, boot the Ubuntu LiveUSB and run

# nc -l 9001 | dd of=/dev/sda

and on your other computer, run

$ dd if=/home/dellmini.bak | nc 192.168.1.101 9001

Use the actual IP address of the mini, it may not be 192.168.1.101


This works great for me because I have big drives in my desktop, and the mini 9 has a very small SSD. If you have a computer you can dedicate as a server, it would make sense to use that instead. How well it works for you depends on how well you understand what's going on and whether you have suitable computers and network setup to do this.

You may need to use sudo on the ones using dd. I personally prefer to get a root shell as opposed to sudoing all the time.

If you are low on space on the machine you're backing up the image to, or if you have a slow network, or for any other reason you want to compress it, you can try gzipping or bzipping or lzma compression in the middle of the pipe there. That would look like

dd if=/dev/sda bs=4096 | gzip | nc 192.168.1.100 9001

Personally I don't use compression because it's simpler to not use it.

Oh, and depending on the OS, there may be extra flags needed for netcat. Some use -p to specify the port, some just use -l and assume that what follows is the port you want to listen on. Read manpages for any questions, if you still can't find an answer I'll be around.
do either of these utilities have a GUI version?
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yakinikku yakinikku is offline
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Default 07-27-2009, 04:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by reflex View Post
I like the simplicity of dd plus gzip. But a smarter solution is partimage.
i think i tried to install this a couple of days ago and it failed. either that or i am hallucinating from lack of sleep. i will give this a go as well.
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Z4i Z4i is offline
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Default 07-27-2009, 03:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakinikku View Post
do either of these utilities have a GUI version?
No, but they both have manpages. Each one of these is far too simple for a GUI to be useful. One just outputs it's input pretty much, and the other just sends it over the network. A GUI would be just as hard to understand as command flags.


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Vostro A90, 16GB SSD, 2GB DDR2, US-INTL Keyboard, FreeBSD 7.2-STABLE
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btreichel btreichel is offline
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Default 08-02-2009, 03:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakinikku View Post
anyone know of anything like this? i change OSes on my mini so often that i need something that allows me to just start up where i left off. reinstalling everything is a PITA. TIA
Cloneziila, it allows you to chose the partion to back up
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yakinikku yakinikku is offline
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Default 08-04-2009, 02:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by btreichel View Post
Cloneziila, it allows you to chose the partion to back up
i tried it, it didnt work. it threw a ton of errors and it didnt backup my drive
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