Backing up entire system with tar

Saqib Shaikh ss at
Mon Nov 12 01:19:49 EST 2001

Thanks for the info, but:

1.  Where can I get the program.
2.  These kinds of programs often snapshot the entire partition, including free space.  I may have a 1gb partition with only 100 mb used.  Therefore I'd want a 100mb image only.  The other reason why I don't want a snapshot is so that I can copy my configuration to another computer that may have a different size partition.

Thanks, Saqib

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Thomas Ward 
  To: speakup at 
  Sent: Monday, November 12, 2001 5:33 AM
  Subject: Re: Backing up entire system with tar

  Hi, I use a dos/Windows program called Image cast which does the job nicely.
  It makes an image of your drive as it is, and then can be sent to another computer on the network, to another partition, or be burned onto a cd.
  Haven't tried it with ext3, but it works good with ext2.

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Saqib Shaikh 
    To: speakup at ; blinux-newbie at 
    Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2001 10:54 PM
    Subject: Backing up entire system with tar


    I keep on finding myself wanting to play with new things etc.  Instead of having to reinstall my system ever time I end up breaking something (sorry, I'm a perfectionist who feels my system must be perfect!), can I just back up my entire system with tar.

    The first question is: what is the syntax for this?

    Secondly, where will the tar file go.  What I mean is, if the command were:
    tar cf /* ./backup.tar
    then won't the program get into a loop since I'm backing up the current directory, but also continually writing data to this directory?  Equally, if I mount a second partition under /mnt and save the tar file to /mnt/backup.tar won't it try and backup the mounted partition also?

    I'd be greatful if anyone has the answer to my question.

    Thanks, Saqib

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