Today I've made an update for my Fedora 18 and get 19th version. On previous versions I had troubles with nvidia drivers (I have a laptop). Neither nvidia drivers from package nor from nvidia site didn't work for me. It somehow completely crashes Xorg so I can't work.

Days passed. I want to try it again (primarily to use external screen that can't be used with default drivers). But I don't want to reinstall the system in case it won't work. So I'm searching for a solution how to make a snapshot of a whole system so I can restore it if I want. Not only snapshot of /home partition but the whole system.

Does anyone have ideas?

Thanks in advance.


The way I typically back up my whole system would be to become root and run the following command.

tar cvzf backup.tgz --exclude=/proc --exclude=/lost+found --exclude=/backup.tgz --exclude=/mnt --exclude=/sys /

This command simply tars up all the files in the root directory excluding the generated directories and the tar file itself of course. You may want to exclude more directories unimportant to you (like /tmp) just add another --exclude statement.

Then when you've fubared your system, you can restore with

tar xvpfz backup.tgz -C /

Which changes directory to root and extracts the archived. Note the p flag. That preserves permissions when extracting and it is important that you use it (I only mention that because I've forgotten it before).

This guide seems to explain it pretty well.

One thing that I haven't had problems with before but just thought of was that any files added after the archive was created would still remain after you restore from the archive. So you may want to compare the file list on the tar file with the file list from your borked system. Easier way is to just ls -R > originalFileList before the archive. Then after restoring run the same command ls -R > newFileList then diff originalFileList newFileList and you can do what you want with the added files.

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I usually boot the system with a clonezilla CD (http://clonezilla.org/) and follow the instructions. Typically I'll use a NFS resource with large storage capacity, but at home it also worked fine with an external drive.

If your new setup fails, just boot again with clonezilla and pull your saved image, boot sector et al included.

Has worked for me reliably in diverse scenarios, although I should note that Clonezilla failed to work when trying to clone a CentOS 7 server that I recently installed, no clues why.

This method will also help to do multiple installs from a fully loaded & already configured system, if all your target machines are identical. It is pretty fast, some 10~15 minutes per installation, YMMV. However, you may need to take care of network parameters later, due to the changed MACs.

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