Image file too big...

Topics about disk partitioning (fdisk, parted, gparted, partimage), Volumes Management (lvm, evms, dmraid), Storage, file systems, ...
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Joined: 18 Jul 2009, 16:31
Location: California

Image file too big...

Post by caffemisto » 18 Jul 2009, 16:39


I've been looking for a way to create a backup image of my Linux laptop installation.

I had downloaded 'g4l', but when it was creating the image to an external USB drive, it filled up the drive at about 25% of the image creation.

I also use Norton Ghost on a regular basis at work and it creates small images. For example, if I have a 20GB and only 3GB of it is used, a fully compressed image of the drive might only take approximately 2GB, not 20GB.

Please help me out as I like to tinker with my laptop a lot, installing/removing different OSs, but would like to have an image of my current Linux installation. I don't want to go through all the setup steps and what not everytime.

Thank you for your help.

Posts: 35
Joined: 29 Jul 2009, 19:20

Post by Ruler » 30 Jul 2009, 21:05

You want to look at partimage and use bz2 compression to get your best compression ratios and smallest image file sizes. Keep in mind that it does PARTITIONS, not drives. If you want to restore an entire drive, use dd to do a binary copy of the first 20 meg of your drive and save it in a file, then when you want to restore the drive, restore the dd image, go into fdisk and write the changes so the kernel notices the new partition table, then restore each partition on it's own with partimage.

I've never used g4l, but if your flash drive is filling that quickly, you might want end up getting a new flash drive. They're very cheap and you can get a 16 gig for ~$25 anyways.

One thing to remember is that most partition imaging apps will copy everything that's on your drive. This includes the hibernation and page files. If snapping an image of a windoze drive, mount it and remove these two files; windoze will re-create them when it starts if they're not there. Depending on the specifics, you could halve the amount of data to back up.

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