If you’ve worked hard to configure your Linux machine and can’t afford to lose it, try creating an image of it using
It wouldn’t make much sense to store the image of the drive on the drive itself, but luckily
dd is smart and you can combine it with
gzip to store your stuff off-site.
# dd if=/dev/sda | ssh firstname.lastname@example.org dd of=/backup/drive.img.gz
At this point the
drive.img.gz file is quite large. If you’re going over the internet this will take a really long time and kill your bandwidth.
# dd if=/dev/sda | gzip | ssh email@example.com dd of=/backup/drive.img.gz
gzip pipe right before the
ssh command compressing the stream before it gets sent to
backup.remotehost.com. You can also tell
dd to create an image of a specific partition only (specify
/dev/sda2 as the input stream)
To restore a drive image, log into
backup.remotehost.com and type:
# dd if=/backup/drive.img.gz | gzip -d | ssh firstname.lastname@example.org dd of=/dev/sda
You should only restore to a drive that is not in use (possibly an OS running off of a Live CD?).
I was able to reduce my
drive.img.gz by almost 75% using gzip! You may find other compression tools to be better or worse depending on the data you are imaging.