Mondo CLI

If you want to do a backup in Linux, there are many tools for the job. But if you want the ability to recover from a disaster, as well as back up, only a handful are left. Of those, less than half are able to replace the functionality of Ghost or Acronis TrueImage in a Linux environment, and of those, only one or two (that I know of) can do this without either being ridiculously confusing or requiring a network or backup server.

The winner for me (and my mission critical business computers) is Mondo Archive. With Mondo Archive, you can do all sorts of nifty things, such as back up your windows/linux dual boot and automatically restore them to a completely different computer, restoring to a different disk setup or file system, and more. Here is a simple guide to using it.

Step 1: Install Mondo from Synaptic by first starting Synaptic, entering your root password, and then doing a search for the word "mondo" (without the quotes). Select it for installation. Several dependencies will be added.

Step 2: After you have installed them all, determine whether you will be using hard disk, CD, DVD or something else to back up to. Mondo supports CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs, creating .ISO images on your hard disk, tape drives, CD Streamers and NFS mounts for backing up to. If you have the disk space to spare, and you plan to make CDs or DVDs, I suggest creating .ISO files on your hard disk and then later burning them to whatever media you have chosen later, although Mondo can do direct to device burning, too. I do it this way to make sure the run ends successfully before I overwrite my DVD-RW backup set. The alternative is to have multiple backup sets if you use RW media. Right now, that's not feasible for me. If you do store your images on the hard drive, you will want to have a specific directory set up to hold them. I use /home/myhomedir/backup. You would replace myhomedir with your login name, of course.

Step 3a: Decide how you want to run Mondo. I used to run it in its GUI mode. Note that this is a CLI based GUI. You can do this by invoking the program from a terminal you are logged into as root, like so:


[root@localhost backup]# mondoarchive

Mondo will then automatically detect as much information as possible, and will walk you through the rest. When it asks you whether your kernel is sane, for PCLinuxOS, the answer is YES. (Of course it is!)

Step 3b: If you need greater control than you can get from the GUI, as I do, you will need to use the CLI and type in a rather long command. Here is the command I use to create full system backups, which I will dissect for you afterwards:


mondoarchive -O -V -i -s 4480m -d /home/shannon/backup -I / -E /home/shannon/backup -T /home/shannon/backup -x /dev/sda1 -x /dev/sda2 -9 -f /dev/sda -l GRUB

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Installing MondoArchive in Debian 6

MondoArchive is an excellent backup tool found in Linux. However, the installation process is not obviously clear in debain- it lacks of a simple clue to let you know how to install in the easiest way in debian by using 'apt-get'.

All you need is to add this simple repository to add in your /etc/apt/sources.list file-

deb 6.0 contrib

Then hit-

apt-get update
apt-get install mondo

There you go… it is installed 🙂