Back up your systems with Mondo Rescue

Command Line

Mondo Rescue also accepts command-line parameters without starting the graphical interface, which is great for fans of the command line but also very useful for automatic snapshot-based backups with the help of a cronjob. Make sure that, for automated cronjobs, no interaction with the program is required during its execution. Therefore, when using an optical storage medium, it is important to check the size of the target medium before creating a cronjob and make sure the backup fits on a single CD or DVD.

Switching on maximum data compression can save several hundred megabytes, particularly with larger Linux installations featuring a large collection of software.

If space is at a premium, you can also swap out certain individual directory hierarchies (i.e., exclude the directories from the snapshot and save them to a separate medium. A typical candidate for this scheme would be the /home tree. The Mondo Rescue documentation [4] lists all command-line parameters, as well as details for automating the use of the software.

Restore

You do not need any additional software to restore a computer system from the snapshots. Just reboot the computer via the backup target disk to import the backup.

The start routine on the target disk now launches Mondo Rescue and Mindi and guides you to a simple boot prompt, which provides various alternatives for recovering the snapshot: the easiest approach is the nuke command, which fully restores your system in an automated process. If you only want to restore a certain part of your data, select the interactive option. This allows partial restoration of a data set.

Mondo Rescue first deletes the target medium after starting the recovery and then formats it, so press Ctrl+Alt+Del if you need to cancel formatting. Mondo Rescue then completely restores your system installation.

The progress display shows the required amount of time. Once the restore is complete, the program jumps back to a simple shell prompt. From there, you can restart the computer by entering exit. Your computer then boots to the restored snapshot.

Conclusions

Mondo Rescue is an interesting tool for producing system snapshots that eliminate the time-consuming work of restoring a workstation after a system failure. The software is most impressive by its simple use of and support for a variety of backup media. Only the still buggy use of large external disks tarnishes the otherwise universally positive impression.

The integrity and completeness of the backed up data is ensured because Mondo Rescue also verifies the supported target medium on request. The application is especially valuable on intensively used desktop systems, because it avoids the hassle of having to reinstall and configure existing programs after a system failure.

Infos

  1. Mondo Rescue: http://www.mondorescue.org/
  2. "BleachBit" by Erik Bärwaldt, Linux Pro Magazine, issue 108, November 2009, pg. 60, http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Issues/2009/108/BleachBit
  3. "F3: Testing Flash Memory" by Erik Bärwaldt, Linux Pro Magazine, issue 161, April 2014, pg. 76, http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Issues/2014/161/F3-Testing-Flash-Memory
  4. Mondo Rescue documentation: http://www.mondorescue.org/docs.shtml

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