mondo rescue backup solution pulled ;( alternatices please

John dingo at
Fri Nov 12 02:04:47 UTC 2004

Daniel Robitaille wrote:
>>>I was looking for and old message on the list about backup progs and I
>>>found the one I was looking for.  It mentioned
>>> which I have looked at before and seemed
>>>excellent.  I went to the website and found the message below.  Anyone
>>>know of any good alternative backup solution in the Free Software
>>Hand on - look at  This is what I
>>got when I searched in google - this may be a false alarm.
> it's not a false alarm.  It's a very much an ongoing story (last
> update 3 days ago had a mention of bringing a lawyer into the
> picture). 

There was a thread on this list a month or so ago regarding mondo. I 
looked at it some time ago and its specs are excellent.

However, I had need to examine the code and discovered the quality of 
the code isn't.

I checked it more recently, and you can find the discussion in the 
arhives of this list.

Since then I've discovered how to make a compressed CD filesystem. It's 
decompressed transparenly by Linux (if the kernel is so configured,. 
ipcop's isn't) but AFAIk by nothing else.

Here's WIP script I have for creating a complete backup. In this case 
the system being backed up can be archived to a single CD.

This does require a certain amount of disk space. In this case I have it.
#!/bin/bash -xe
[ -d /mnt/backup ] || mkdir /mnt/backup
umount /mnt/backup || :
rm -fr /root/backup.img /var/tmp/backup
dd if=/dev/zero of=/root/backup.img count=0 bs=1024 \
ls -shog /root/backup.img
mke2fs -Fq /root/backup.img
mount -o loop /root/backup.img /mnt/backup/
tar clC / --exclude=backup.img --exclude=/tmp --exclude=/var/tmp . \
         | buffer -m $((2*1024*1024)) -p 75\
         | tar xpC /mnt/backup
ls -go /mnt/backup
rm /root/backup.img
mkzftree --one-filesystem /mnt/backup/ /var/tmp/backup
umount /mnt/backup/
mkisofs -R -z -quiet -nobak -o /var/tmp/backup-${HOSTNAME}.iso \ 
rm -rf  /var/tmp/backup
ls -hog /var/tmp/backup*
scp -p /var/tmp/backup-${HOSTNAME}.iso \

I've perused for lines that wrapped, but I might have missed some.

The backup procedure is complicated by the fact that mkzftree does not 
currently do any useful file selection. So, I create a sparse file with 
an ext2 filesystem in it.

I then populate it. I use tar | buffer | tar in the expectationt 
(unmeasured) that this will overcome problems with seeking lots.

pax might do as all. I can effectively copy:
pax -r -w
but I've only looked briefly at that.

Once I mount the filesystem I can delete it. It doesn't actually get 
deleted until I unmount it.

This trick ensures that mkzftree doesn't try to do a recursive operation!

Then I create the ISO in the normal way but
-z flags the ISO as compressed, and this is quite important.
You might want -UDF if there are large files in there, or of you're 
creating DVDs.

Mondo has these advantages over this approach:
1. The ISO is bootable.
2. Automatically spans volumes. You say "This big, no more."

Also, in contrast with other software (such as tar), the size mondo uses 
is the size of compressed files, so if you say 650M you get 650M of 
compressed data.

However, mondo's code looks to me like a disaster waiting to happen.

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