I seem to be able to find lots of guides for backing up my PI that involve taking the SD card out, or running dd and hoping nothing changes.

But is there any way to take a proper, system-level, backup of my PI onto a NAS? I know with LVM you can use snapshots, but Raspian doesn't use LVM. Is there another way?

To be clear - I want to backup the entire SD card, so if it fails, I can grab a new one and restore. Or if I install too much crap and break the OS I can roll back.

  • Please, whatever you do, do not use dd for backups! There is some very bad advice around about that.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:17
  • @goldilocks raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/311/… is heavily infested with dd... And I believe there is a newer thread (possible dupe if this one) which I just cannot find right now.
    – Ghanima
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:20
  • @Ghanima Yeah, I would feel heavy handed closing that one by moderator fiat as it has a ton of votes -- but if you want to vote that that way, feel free ;) It's not impossible to use dd, it's just silly.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:26
  • That "duplicate" does not have an accepted answer! So how should I do this?
    – xorsyst
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:35
  • Choose the method you like best. There's more than one way to do this. The two top answers there suggest rsync or tar, which are pretty canonical on linux (since this is really a general linux question, you might look around Unix & Linux as well). The difference between the two is in the nature of the backup; with rsync you are creating a mirror (identical copy), with tar you are creating an archive (compressed file which can be extracted later).
    – goldilocks
    Mar 6, 2015 at 14:47


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