Ubuntu – Which tool to backup an ext4 partition


I'm searching for a tool to backup a whole ext4 partition to an image. I tried the latest version of mondo, which is not working. What are good alternatives?

Best Answer

Take a look at fsarchiver

It can be found on the latest SystemRescueCD

Reportedly made by the same guy who authored partimage.

It sports a lot of improvements including: - ext4 support - ntfs support - file-level instead of block-level - compression using multiple cores

Basically, after a partition is saved/compressed it can be restored to different size partitions, and partitions of different formats (so you can use it to convert a partition's format too), and if part of the backup gets corrupted it doesn't destroy the whole image (like it would on a block-level backup.

The only downside (if you consider it a downside) is, it's only a command line app at the moment (but it should get a gui eventually).

The command line entries are really simple.

To save a partition:

fsarchiver savefs /mnt/backup/gentoo-rootfs.fsa /dev/sda1

Where '/mnt/backup/gentoo-rootfs.fsa' is the path being saved to and '/dev/sda1' is the partition being cloned.

To restore a partition:

fsarchiver restfs /mnt/backup/gentoo-rootfs.fsa id=0,dest=/dev/sda1

Just reverse the options above. From what I understand (in the documentation), it looks like the id=0 is necessary because an image can contain multiple partitions. For more directions on usage (such as saving multiple partitions) checkout the QuickStart guide.


As it turns out, I'm actually writing this (as entertainment) from a Linux Mint LiveCD while I'm cloning a newly updated windows factory install clone. I scoured the net earlier looking for a better partition cloning alternative because I want to finally trash this Ghose '03 disc that I've been using for years. I'll drop a note to let you know how it went after I finish the restore.


Just finished the backup with no errors. It took a little while because I didn't know about the options to make it multi-threaded when I started. The compression was set to the default value (equivalent to gzip -6), the partition was 4.48GB on disk (highly trimmed/updated XP + Chrome) and the output file weighs in at 2.3GB. No complaints here.

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