backup vmware

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Sat Nov 17 17:19:43 UTC 2007

roland wrote:
> On Fri, 16 Nov 2007 21:45:19 +0100, Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at> 
> wrote:
>> Scott Henson wrote:
>>>> How can I do the backup???
>>> I'm going to guess that cpio is your problem.  You might want to add a
>>> "-H newc" to your cpio command line.  Otherwise use tar as I believe it
>>> will handle files over 2GB.
>>>  Alternatively, you can tell vmware to split its disks into two gig
>>> chunks.  Thats a image creation option though, so it may not help you
>>> here.
>> Also be sure your vmware clients are shut down for the duration of the 
>> copy.  The disk images would be corrupted if they changed during the 
>> copy.
> Would it be ok to exports some dirs in the clients and mount them in the 
> main partition, who takes the backup?

Yes, or tar/cpio/rsync, etc. will work directly from the client. 
File-oriented backups will generally work with the machine running but 
image copies let the directory/free space list get out of sync with the 
file contents in the time it takes to copy them.  Vmware has some kind 
of snapshot facility - I'm not sure if you can copy the snapshot as a 
backup or not.  I generally treat them the same as real machines and use 
tar or rsync - usually automated by backuppc on another machine.  It is 
a little extra trouble to restore those to bare metal but it can be 
done, or you can drop them into a minimal vmware install.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at

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