How to backup root filesystem the correct way....

Daniel B. Thurman dant at
Fri Dec 16 00:08:01 UTC 2005

I am familiar with the unix dump and restore programs from my hey-dey
and system admin used these for backing up individual filesystems to tape
using these programs. But apparently, someone here told me that using
dump/restore is not the preferred way and said that Torvald quoted
that tar is better than D/R because it is not maintained nor current and
may be fraught with failures.... and recommended that TAR be used.


Well since I have a /boot problem, i.e. I blithely used a partition of /, including
/boot and a seperate partition for swap (i.e. two partitions) of which my BIOS
may eventually fail to see /boot, so I need to correct this mistake. But before I do,
I need to backup my main boot drive by copying its contents to my 2nd drive
so that I can recover if all hell breaks loose.


When I used /tar this way:

tar zcvf root.tgz -C /<second-disk> /

It appears that everything gets tarred up but there are many errors
put out (such as sockets and such) but eventually after a long time,
the final error at the end (whereever that may be) reports:

tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors

Hmm... cryptic as heck. But the bottom line is that there is no
guarantee that all the files are being properly backed up.  Seems
that this is very unreliable.

Perhaps I should just use dump | restore to backup the filesystem
to another filesystem (disk) would be better?  What is the reccommended
way to backup the root disk to my second backup disk?


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