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Does anyone know how I can backup an entire system, such that if the disk drive failed, I could quickly restore the backup onto another disk?

I'm running Fedora 14.

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There's a few ways to do this. In my opinion the easiest way is to use a LiveCD Linux distribution to "clone" the hard drive. I have always liked Clonezilla, which supports a variety of filesystems and can do both whole disk clones or individual partitions. It also can image or clone a drive off of a network share, which is very handy at times. For supported filesystems (extX, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, FAT, NTFS, HFS+ and BSD's UFS) it will only clone or image the used blocks, which can save you quite a bit of time. For unsupported filesystem it will revert to using dd for a sector-by-sector clone or image.

Another option is just use dd by itself... something along these lines. I believe you could also use rsync and tar with some scripting glue as well, but personally I think that a purpose-built LiveCD distro like Clonezilla will probably serve you better.

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