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Thread: Is there an Ubuntu version of Windows' "Create System Image" feature?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
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    Washington State, USA
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    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Is there an Ubuntu version of Windows' "Create System Image" feature?

    I'd like to create a complete backup of my Raspberry Pi 4's Ubuntu SD card installation while Ubuntu is running.

    I've seen a few solutions online, but they seem to require using live media, unmounting the disk/partition to be backed up, or putting the SD card in another machine.

    Windows has the ability to create a backup image while Windows is running, I'd like to do that with Ubuntu as well, if it's possible.
    "Life's too short to use slow computers"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Virginia
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    377
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    Xubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: Is there an Ubuntu version of Windows' "Create System Image" feature?

    There is Timeshift, a gui tool which uses rsync under the hood. I have never used Timeshift but I have used rsync, but not for backing up system files. TS is advertised for taking snapshots of system files, but I have no experience using it as a backup tool.

    On ext4, I like to use LVM which has a snapshot feature. Then I like to use riff-backup to backup the portions of the snaphot that I would need if I were to restore, that would be /home & just a few other system directories. LVM snapshots can be taken on a running system. This type of plan though means that if something goes bad, I am prepared to do a fresh install and then go into my backups to get custom files, scripts, & /home data.

    EDIT: on second look, I see you are on a Pi4. Timeshift may or may not be an option on that, others here may know more…
    Last edited by aljames2; April 8th, 2024 at 04:37 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Lab, Slovakia
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    Re: Is there an Ubuntu version of Windows' "Create System Image" feature?

    Hmm, you cannot copy a running system (unless you use a special file system with snapshot features).

    For an RPi, it is best and easiest to copy the SD card on another machine.

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