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I'm running a IRC/web server on ubuntu 9.04 on slightly old hardware, and well, i'm not sure if anything will break. While i periodically shutdown the box and back it up with clonezilla, i'm looking for a way to backup a running system.

I've tried mondo (which didn't work for me, and there's no updated docs on the ubuntu wiki), so i'm wondering what other options i have?

Ideally i'd want something fire and forget- and obviously command line or curses based, and will backup a running server without the need for shutdown, to either an NFS,Samba share or USB, though i wouldn't mind needing a dedicated box to backup to since i could run that on a VM. Bare metal restore would be a bonus.

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I recommend using rsync.

My backup solution copies the data to a mounted samba share. I use an incremental backup so most of the time the backups are very short.

Set up a cron job to kick-off your script to run at an interval of your choosing.

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rsync is the ultimate way, any linux has it preinstalled I think !!! but if you use a graphical desktop maybe backintime (not sure if it has cli options) should be the best for you ... – zillion Sep 9 '09 at 5:55
well its a cli system. I'd prefer a menu based system though, least at my current skills with linux. – Journeyman Geek Sep 12 '09 at 1:53

There is also rsnapshot, giving you periodical snapshots.

rsnapshot is a filesystem snapshot utility for making backups of local and remote systems.

Using rsync and hard links, it is possible to keep multiple, full backups instantly available. The disk space required is just a little more than the space of one full backup, plus incrementals.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Mondo seems to do exactly what i want - fairly simple, bootable bare metal backups. I'm completely fine with periodically doing a full system backup, since its not a very heavily used system, and i got a 1 tb box elsewhere... so... i guess that takes my vote.

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Note that the original question says, "a way to backup a running system", while the Mondo documentation recommends, "Shut down all possible applications (this minimizes any compare differences following the backup). Especially shutdown properly any running database on your system, as the recovery may lead to corrupted data. Or if applicable, boot to single user mode." – Rob Fisher Apr 15 '14 at 13:05

I use duplicity with ftplicity as a frontend, and I'm very happy with it.

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