View Full Version : Backing up hard drive as a disk image

19th April 2006, 09:01 PM
Howdy... I was wondering if anyone knew of a program for Linux that backed up my hard drive to a recoverable *.iso format (like Norton Ghost) or any other way of doing such a thing. Not that complicated but would be very useful... thankyou.

19th April 2006, 09:12 PM
In its most simplest form:

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb
dd if=source of=target

but you can append the .img suffix on your output file, and save it anywhere with sufficient space. There is quite bit more to it, but the links should give you good start.


19th April 2006, 09:36 PM
ahhh thankyou.. this will greatly aid in my confidence while playing arround with linux (and avoid "brick-ing" my laptop) :)

19th April 2006, 11:24 PM
I think Ghost for Linux supports this feature http://freshmeat.net/projects/g4l/ . I think you need to unmount the partition before you can use the a command like that. Could be wrong there. Or check out the system rescue cd http://www.linux-laptop.net/ and use partimage from it.


20th April 2006, 04:38 AM
Partition Image probably is what you are looking for. You can find the www.site by going to
google first then type in "Partition Image". While you are there take a good look at their
"System Rescue CD" for free downloading.
I have used Partition Image exclusively for backups for over a year now. It works on most
file systems including FAT32. Yes that means Winblows !
The 64 bit OSs I backup are Ubuntu, Fedora (any fc), Gentoo, SUSE, Kanotix, Wins XP-64
there are many 32 bit OSs that will work including Wins 98SE.
This is one program for all.

20th April 2006, 03:54 PM
IMHO none of these solutions come close to Ghost unless you have a spare hard drive to copy to. You can generally find Ghost for $30 or less if you shop carefully -- our local Fry's chain usually has it on sale every few weeks for $29.95.

OTOH no matter how you cut it, copying 10-20GB to 4.3 or 8GB DVD+/-R/RW is a slow PITA of a process.

IF you have a spare hard drive, booting the Knoppix CD/DVD, mounting your two drives RW and doing: rsync -axr /mnt/sourcePartition /mnt/backupPartition has been fairly painless way to keep a clone system current for disaster recovery. Booting Knoppix avoids the problem of backing up a live system, but over the years I've had good luck doing this automatically on my system as a root cron job, but this is not the kind of backup to use if you worry about rootkits etc. as it'll syncronize and backup the hack!