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I have a linux server, and i want to make an image of the whole drive in real-time, like acronis does.

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could you further explain 'wants in a real time.'? W/ linux, you can literally just do a dd on the /dev/hdX and get an image of the hard drive. Very easy to do and very easy to put back (just change the if and of options around basically) – g19fanatic Dec 7 '10 at 12:27
yeah, I wasn't sure you could do that with an in use root partition. i think in real time means without going to alternate boot media – RobotHumans Dec 7 '10 at 12:42
You can do that with an in use root partition, but dd'ing RW mounted filesystems might not result in an accurate result. If you can boot in RO mode then it is a working option. – Hennes Dec 20 '15 at 16:33

I use LVM religiously. It makes filesystem management so much easier...if you use lvm there's a tutorial here:

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LVM is a good choice.

LVM snapshot can be created in real time by -s when using lvcreate: For example, we can create a 2GB snapshot of lv_root by:

# lvcreate -L20480 -s -n 'lv_root_snapshot' /dev/vg/lv_root

Then we can dd the snapshot out (this cost time):

# dd if=/dev/vg/lv_root_snapshot of=/var/backup/lv_root.img
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