Backing up entire system with tar

Dawes, Stephen Stephen.Dawes at
Mon Nov 12 09:28:20 EST 2001

Attached is a Web site that has an directions on how to make a
compressed that you can then extract to a different system.  The nice
thing about it, is that, it can all be done using a console in Linux,
and thus speakup.
Steve Dawes 
PH:  (403) 268-5527. 
MailTo:  sdawes at 


-----Original Message-----
From: Saqib Shaikh [mailto:ss at]
Sent: 2001 November 11 11:20 PM
To: speakup at
Subject: Re: Backing up entire system with tar

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 <mailto:tward at>  
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
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  <mailto:ss at> 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
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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