Redo Backup

Safe Circuit

Getting Started with Redo Backup

Redo Backup also provides support for other admin tasks. The sparse user interface provides an overview in stressful situations and is also useful for providing phone support to non-experts without being able to see the remote screen.

If booting the Live CD takes too long for your liking, you can transfer the Redo Backup image to a USB stick. The developers recommend Unetbootin [4] for this, but the Live CD also comes with the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator, another useful tool for this purpose.

Once the computer has booted from the Live CD or USB medium, Redo Backup automatically starts the GUI to let you back up or restore the built-in data medium. The GUI does not let you switch the keyboard layout. This can be a pain for users who work with non-standard keyboards – in particular, because of the frequent use of characters such as / in paths. If you don't use a US keyboard layout, you can switch to another layout with the setxkbmap XX command, however.

If you want to follow the output from Redo Backup in detail, launch the backup program in a terminal window with redobackup. The steps are self-explanatory: Backup does precisely that to the entire disk, dumping all the partitions and the master boot record onto a locally attached USB hard drive, a network drive, or an FTP server. Restore does precisely that with a previously created backup on one of these sources. This process is easy and reliable through the GUI; however, depending on the size of the backup, both a backup and a restore can take several hours to complete. A typical Windows 7 default install with Office but without extensive data can be backed up and recovered in a couple of minutes, though.


Redo Backup provides a bare-necessities user interface for less experienced users. It sacrifices some features, such as backing up individual files in favor of precise and reliable handling of its main task: disaster recovery. For more information, see the "Alternatives to Redo Backup" box.

Alternatives to Redo Backup

Admins who need more flexible ways to backup or restore data media may be interested in these alternative imaging backup tools:

Free and Open Source

  • Clonezilla: Debian-based Live CD with a text-based menu navigation. Clones, backs up, and restores individual partitions or entire disks.
  • G4L: Formerly Ghost for Linux backs up entire disks, individual partitions, and individual files. Text-based menu system; also backs up to SSHFS.
  • Partimage: Backs up data media or partitions via SSL across the network with its own server and client. No support for ext4 and Btrfs. Also restores individual files from the image.
  • Mondo Rescue: Disaster recovery solution that creates complete backups on disks and distributes them across CDs or DVDs. A boot CD can restore an entire computer with these backup media.
  • Partclone [2]: Command-line tool for backing up and restoring used partition blocks.
  • Trinity Rescue Kit (TRK): Live CD and rescue system with a text-based menu system, particularly useful for recovering Windows systems, including password recovery and a virus scanner.
  • SystemRescueCd: Live system with numerous rescue tools: Uses partimage to back up disks and partitions.

Commercial Systems

  • PartedMagic: Went commercial in August 2013; Live CD with graphical tools for partitioning, cloning, data recovery, and deletion of data.
  • Acronis True Image: Disk imaging for Windows and Linux servers with optional data backup in the cloud.
  • Symantec Ghost Solution Suite: Client-server model with a central console for image management.
  • Paragon Hard Disk Manager Premium: Disk imaging for Windows servers with the WinPE recovery environment.
  • StorageCraft ShadowProtect: Comprehensive disk imaging tool; only for Windows systems.

The Author

Thomas Zeller is an IT consultant and has been involved with IT security and Open Source for 15 years. He is the author/co-author of the books OpenVPN Compact and Mind Mapping with Freemind . In real life, he is an IT entrepreneur and managing director of an IT system provider. Among other things, he is responsible for the company's IT security business.

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