Before I move on to try some other backup solutions, let me just make a couple of additional points about Partimage. Firstly, it turns out that there doesn’t seem to be a 64-bit version of the software available. While the documentation file is available, the actual program doesn’t show up in the Ubuntu Software Centre on a 64-bit Ubuntu installation. Secondly, while Partimage creates a nice, tidy backup of a disk partition in a single Gzip file, it isn’t all that easy to recover just a single file from the archive, rather than restoring the entire partition. For some such purposes, there just have to be better ways.
For those requiring a 64-bit backup solution, one possibility is a relatively new program – fsarchiver – file system archiver. This program is a bit similar to Partimage (although it currently only sports a command line and no GUI) and at least one web posting suggests that the two pieces of software may come from the same programmer.
Fsarchiver is available for 64-bit Ubuntu, and the package provides support for all Linux file systems, including ext4. However, a possible downside to fsarchiver is that, while it also supports NTFS, it has no support for FAT disk volumes.
Fsarchiver uses a slightly different command line format than Partimage. It’s still best to work with unmounted volumes, but I was easily able to get my bash script file to work by modifying the main command to:
sudo fsarchiver -o -v savefs /media/MYBOOK1/z_images/ test4/datadisk_ddmmmyy.fsa /dev/sda2
The -o switch is to overwrite any existing backup file, while the -v switch provides verbose output and displays the progress for individual files while the backup process is running.
Note that fsarchiver provides support for multiple file system backups in a single file system archive (.fsa) file. However, for me, this has the disadvantage that it is even more difficult to retrieve individual files or folders from the backup file. It appears that one needs to restore at least one file system from the archive, using a command like:
fsarchiver restfs /media/MYBOOK1/z_images/test4/ datadisk_ddmmmyy.fsa id=0,dest=/dev/sda1
So, while it’s an interesting backup program, and likely a close relative of Partimage, I don’t think that fsarchiver is the solution of choice for my particular purposes.
FSArchiver: Filesystem Archiver for Linux