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How to do backup and restore with rsync on linux?

asugri
asugri asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I got a linux machine running SLES9 with rsync available.  
I would like to back up the whole system in 2 or 3 steps using rsync
to an exernal usb 2TB drive which has been formatted to FAT32.
(I know, it is not the best practice to have big drive like that
in FAT32, but I'm not too good in linux.)  

How do I run rsync to back up the system with minimum files and
restore the system?  I assume it is possible when I mess up the machine,
I can restore the system from a different machine with backup drive
(external usb 2TB) and a SATA hard drive.  

The display of df command is below.
linux2:/tmp # df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda3             30969600  28556508    839928  98% /
tmpfs                  2024720        12   2024708   1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1               101105     11301     84583  12% /boot
/dev/sda7             53028292  49499092    835504  99% /home
/dev/sda6             20641788  14549688   5043460  75% /opt
/dev/sda5              5162828   2759284   2141284  57% /var
/dev/sdb1            961195208 857966920  54402340  95% /data
/dev/sdc1            1953035168        32 1953035136   1% /mnt/usbdrive
inux2:/tmp #

Additional info:
1. /mnt/usbdrive is the 2TB external usb drive.
2. /data is another hard drive which only has data files. (I think rsync command
   and handle this drive separately.)
3. OS has a RAID1 setting.

Any opinion is very much appreciated.
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Commented:
If you do the tar (rather than rsync) as the link I posted above suggests, you can still have all the linux rights even if you store the actual tar file on a FAT32 or NTFS drive.  If you want to use rsync, to keep the rights, you can't use FAT or NTFS.
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Author

Commented:
Thanks a lot for all the postings.   I used tar to back up after converting FAT32 to ext3 this time.  I'll try
rsync in the future.

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