11 December 2009

Backing up a full disk encrypted Ubuntu install

Full hard disk copy
dd if=/dev/hdx of=/dev/hdy
dd if=/dev/hdx of=/path/to/image
dd if=/dev/hdx | gzip > /path/to/image.gz
Hdx could be hda, hdb etc.
In the second example gzip is used to compress the image if it is really just a backup.

Restore Backup of hard disk copy
dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/hdx
gzip -dc /path/to/image.gz | dd of=/dev/hdx

MBR backup
In order to backup only the first few bytes containing the MBR and the partition table you can use dd as well.
dd if=/dev/hdx of=/path/to/image count=1 bs=512

MBR restore
dd if=/path/to/image of=/dev/hdx
Add "count=1 bs=446" to exclude the partition table from being written to disk. You can manually restore the table.

Partition table backup
sfdisk -d /dev/hdx > parttable.sf

Partition table restore
sfdisk /dev/hdx < parttable.sf

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