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

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at
Fri Dec 16 00:25:31 UTC 2005

On Thursday 15 December 2005 19:08, Daniel B. Thurman wrote:
>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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> 12/14/2005

Well, you could give rsync a try.  I've been using it for about 3 years 
to keep a backup of the important stuff on my firewall box, to a dir 
on this box.  It seems to get it all.

Cheers, Gene
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Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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