Recommendation of the software for making binary image backup of FreeBSD server.

Hello,

I have a name alongside with mail server.
I want to make a backup of whole system HDD as a single binary image file.
(let's say microsoft has *.vhd  format, but it's not a good example of simplicity and functionality)
My server has 931 GiB of storage and only 60GiB is used.
So the total image file size should be 60 GiB not 931.
Server OS is running under FreeBDSM 8.3-RELEASE amd64
the filesystem is freebsd-ufs.

Please, make you suggestions.
Nusrat NuriyevAsked:
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
I'd suggest clonezilla: http://clonezilla.org/

It saves and restores only the used blocks on the disc. It does however not create 'one file', you have to zip the files it together. I'm assuming you don't want to 'mount' the image you're getting?
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Nusrat NuriyevAuthor Commented:
Thank you, Gerwin. I will review that.
Software MAY contain 'mount' feature. The key point is the reliability.
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gheistCommented:
FreeBSD can be backed up with "tar" or "dump" and nobody does image backup when 1% of storage is used.
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Nusrat NuriyevAuthor Commented:
Can I easily extract the whole system?
Let's say I have archived with tar.
Then I load LiveCD and extracting whole tar to the / root directory.
What about bootloader?
Can I extract the whole system on other harddrive
a) same model and manufacturer
b) other manufacturer and model.

What pitfalls do you see in the tar way?
Can you tell me how to preserve all permissions while tarring?

What about dump. Which is preferable?
Let's say I have ns1(Name Server) and I want to save everything and later, extract after a week the older version?
Can tar or dump accomplish this task? What are performance considerations?
Also, that's 6% not 1%.
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gheistCommented:
You need to install FreeBSD of similar version (i.e 8.x, 9.x or 10.x) for bootloader and partitioning.
Then extract tar file (remember to use "p" flag to tar to keep permissions)

Nameserver configuration file backup is insignificant compared to dumping whole system, or even whole disk.
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
>> Can I extract the whole system on other harddrive
>> a) same model and manufacturer
>> b) other manufacturer and model.


You can do this with clonezilla, yes.
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gheistCommented:
Yes, just that clonezilla has to be newer than original FreeBSD (remember UFS->UFS2 switch, and now ZFS etc)
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Nusrat NuriyevAuthor Commented:
(remember UFS->UFS2 switch, and now ZFS etc)

I don't get this part.
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gheistCommented:
FreeBSD's major releases make major changes, so CloneZilla has to adapt, e.g old CloneZilla will have no idea if it faces UFS or UFS2 or ZFS...
Latest version is the way to go.
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
Clonezilla will use dd to image if it doesn't recognize the file system
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gheistCommented:
It can recognize UFS2 as being UFS1 and do something kind norton ghost does with unix.
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