Every body recommends to back up your important files and systems, but almost nobody does it :), here are some good tools to back up your full or partial linux systems, it can also back up windows partitions, but that is not going to be touch in this article. The tools we are going to use here are mondo and mindi Install the software To install them in a Debian and Ubuntu (use universe repo) systems just run (as root)

apt-get install mondo mindi

For CentOS get the rpms from

http://mondorescue.muskokamug.org/rhel/4/

For Fedora get the rpms from

http://mondorescue.muskokamug.org/fedora/

Making a rescue CD

After you have it installed what you first need to do is to create the rescue CD which can be done by issuing this command. (as root)

mindi

After that you will see a lot of questions these are my responses.

###################–My output–
debian:~# mindi
Mindi Linux mini-distro generator v2.2.0-r881

Latest Mindi is available from http://www.mondorescue.org

BusyBox sources are available from http://www.busybox.net

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you want to use your own kernel to build the boot disk (y/n) ?y
Would you like to use LILO (instead of syslinux)
for your boot CD/floppies (y/n) ?n
Analyzing dependency requirements                               Done.
Making complete dependency list                                 Done.
Analyzing your keyboard's configuration.

Adding the following keyboard mapping tables:                   Done.
Assembling dependency files.....................................Done.
The files have been subdivided into 5 directories. Your mountlist will look like this:-
Cannot find lvmdiskscan. Are you sure you're using LVM?
        DEVICE          MOUNTPOINT      FORMAT          SIZE (MB)       LABEL 

Unable to open proc
        /dev/sda1       /               ext3             150036
        /dev/sda5       swap            swap               2588
        /dev/sdb1       /media/discob   ext3              76293
Cannot find lvmdiskscan. Are you sure you're using LVM?
Tarring and zipping the groups..................                Done.
Creating data disk #1...#2...#3...#4...#5...                    Done.
Making 1722KB boot disk.....................Call GetFilesystemToUse() with param eter /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686 to get filesystem to use for initrd.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): called with parameter: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): gzip magic found at lvOffset 20912.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): Filesytem to use for initrd is initramfs.

Creating initramfs initrd filesystem.

  UseCpio (): Creating a gzip'ed cpio (AKA initramfs) initrd image...
3840 blocks
done.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/isolinux.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/isolinux-H.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/syslinux.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/syslinux-H.cfg.

initrd filesystem created.

......1440+0 records in
1440+0 records out
1474560 bytes (1.5 MB) copied, 0.00953645 seconds, 155 MB/s
mke2fs 1.40-WIP (14-Nov-2006)
OK, you don't have a /boot/boot.b file, which is odd because
 most _good_ Linux distributions come with one, even if it's only a softlink
grep: /etc/lilo.conf: No such file or directory
Nor can I find it from your /etc/lilo.conf file. This is very odd.

I'm going to use ''

cp: missing destination file operand after `/tmp/4040.32005.mtpt/boot.b'
Try `cp --help' for more information.
CBBF -- warning -- cannot find your boot.b file. That's it, I quit... (j/k)

/usr/sbin/mindi: line 1824: lilo: command not found
Warning - failed to create 1.44MB boot/root floppies

Warning - failed to create 1.72MB boot image. Please reduce your kernel's size

if you want to make a 1.72MB floppy disk.

Making 2880KB boot disk.....................Call GetFilesystemToUse() with param eter /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686 to get filesystem to use for initrd.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): called with parameter: /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.18-3-686.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): gzip magic found at lvOffset 20912.

  GetFilesystemToUse(): Filesytem to use for initrd is initramfs.

Creating initramfs initrd filesystem.

  UseCpio (): Creating a gzip'ed cpio (AKA initramfs) initrd image...
5027 blocks
done.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/isolinux.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/isolinux-H.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/syslinux.cfg.

CreateSyslinuxFile(): Writing to file /usr/lib/mindi/syslinux-H.cfg.

initrd filesystem created.

......mkfs.vfat 2.11 (12 Mar 2005)
... 2880 KB boot disks were created OK                          Done.
In the directory '/root/images/mindi' you will find the images:-
   mindi-data-1.img    mindi-data-2.img    mindi-data-3.img    mindi-data-4.img    mindi-data-5.img
Would you like to create boot+data floppy disks now (y/n) ?n
Shall I make a bootable CD image? (y/n) y
NB: Mindi's bootable CD always uses isolinux.

For a bootable CD w/LILO, please use Mondo.

Finished.

Boot and data disk images were created.

#######################################################################

You now need to burn your CD with the .iso image mindi.iso which could be found at /root/images/mindi/

this can be done following this instructions: Burn Iso

Now it is time to make your backup.

– Full backup <p class="codigo">mkdir /tmp/backup</p>

mondoarchive -Oi -d /tmp/backup/ -s 650m -9 -H -E /tmp -E /proc -l GRUB -f /dev/sda

This is going to backup all your systems but the directories tmp and proc on the directory /tmp/backup and the images will have a size no larger than 650 Mbytes the compression will be the maximum possible (-9), and the command is also saying that you use GRUB boot loader and it is at /dev/sda, change this at your discretion.

Restore or clone your system

Now boot from your first media of the images you got with your backup, once you got the prompt type ‘restore’ (with our quotations) and all the system is going to be restored to the new disk.

Use this at your own risk!!