Is it possible to create backup image of my installed Linux Mint. I would like to be able to have a restore image to reinstall Mint as I do with windows system image backup (for instance).

In conclusion, I would like to start my system with a CD or USB pendrive and to be able to restore my system completely.

  • Use dump(8) / restore(8).
    – lcd047
    Jun 22, 2015 at 8:56
  • thanks. should it be so simple ? no dd, no clonezilla, no backup tool ?
    – ArchiT3K
    Jun 22, 2015 at 9:53
  • 1
    It's as simple or as complicated as you make it. 90% of a backup system is the policy of what to backup and what to do with the copies. dump(8) / restore(8) take care of creating images. They don't deal with the partition sector, nor handle automation, encryption, expiry, splitting across volumes, transferring copies over network, and so on. They are something to use for imaging filesystems, to be used instead of dd(1) or rsync(1), and good enough to backup your laptop to an external disk. Use something like zmanda or bacula if you need more.
    – lcd047
    Jun 22, 2015 at 10:24
  • 1
    dump(4) can handle ext4 filesystems just fine, and no, it isn't deprecated. There seems to be a lot of FUD about it out there, not sure why.
    – lcd047
    Jun 22, 2015 at 13:34
  • 1
    Might be good if you clarify if your OS is not running when you want to make the backup. Backing up a running OS's file-system is very different from backing up an non-running OS's file-system due to the multi-threading possibility of files getting changed while the backup is running. Jul 27, 2016 at 4:24

2 Answers 2


I found the same question you asked, here, and they solved. Anyway there are tons of solutions but according to the link i posted, Clonezilla it's a well known sw to do this work.


I've followed the Clonezilla advice, but found it lacking fakeraid support.

I then tried Mondo Rescue, because it came highly recommended as an enterprise tool. It is sufficiently clumsy to be exactly that, and after some extensive head shaking, I managed to get it to work. It leaves the impression of a very robust tool run by support contracts. In 2005. :)

It turns out, for me, the by far easiest and most compatible solution was a trusty tool we rely on for many things. Open a root shell and enter this command with the necessary adjustments:

rsync -aAXv --exclude={"/dev/*","/proc/*","/sys/*","/tmp/*","/run/*","/mnt/*","/media/*","/lost+found","/var/log/mysql/*","/usr/local/var/crashplan/*"} / my.backup.server:/home/backup/thisBox/

It requires minor per-machine adjustments for directories to exclude. On my home machine for example, it skips steamapps/common, while our servers exclude backup locations, apt cache, or other unnecessary clutter.

To recover this backup, all you need is something that can access your drives and your backup, and includes rsync. A very easy solution would be, for example, a base installation of the same distro; architecture must be a match, kernel shouldn't be light years off. Install the most basic version with a shell (and network), reverse the rsync procedure, refresh grub/lilo, reboot.

A more efficient approach would be to use whichever rescue mode gives you a shell and network, and copy from there. Though you will need to prepare the drives yourself, and chroot and a few rebinds to get grub installed. For the bootload chroot, modify this script to your needs:

mount --bind /dev/pts /mnt/disk/dev/pts
mount -t proc proc /mnt/disk/proc
mount -t sysfs sys /mnt/disk/sys
chroot /mnt/disk

Not only is this solution medium-agnostic and will work on anything that can hold a Linux filesystem, advanced users can also automate recovery by putting it on a medium alongside with small bootable linux and a few rc.local commands.

Another valuable method in conjuction with this backup are hardlink copies. Keep rotating copies of your backups with "cp -al" to get incremental archives. Hard linked files use the same data on disk; if one of them gets overwritten, the other retains the old data. The archives will only ever need as much space as there are unique file versions, not per copy.

Keep it simple, stupid. :-)

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