November 21, 2002

Reader review: Backup and restore with Mondo Rescue

- By David Bouley -
A description and brief review of a (shareware) program called Mondo Rescue for Linux that does much of what Norton Ghost does for Windows PCS.If you used to run Windows on your PC you may be familiar with a utility
called Norton Ghost. It's an application that you can use to make a
complete backup of your PC's hard drive on to CD, so, if there is ever a
problem where you lose information on your hard drive, you can do a complete
restore of the data quickly and easily. The program will work with Linux, if
you take a few extra steps.

If you want a simpler way to burn a complete
copy of your Linux hard drive to CD, I found this great program called Mondo Rescue
(, wirtten by Hugo Rabson.

From the web
site:Mondo supports LVM, RAID, ext2, ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, VFAT,
and can support additional filesystems easily: just e-mail the mailing list
with your request. It supports adjustments in disk geometry, including
migration from non-RAID to RAID. Mondo runs on all major Linux distributions
and is getting better all the time. You may even backup non-Linux

The program is free to download and to evaluate, however
the author does ask you to purchase the software if you decide to continue to
use it ($30.00 US for a standard user license). I downloaded the RPM
package, although an SRPM and tgz download is available.

My install went
fairly smoothly, however my Mandrake system did require the mindi, afio,
and buffer
RPMs, due to dependancy issues. If your system does ask for
dependancies at the time of the install, the Mondo Rescue download page lists
these files in all three file formats for easy downloading.

downloading and installing the required RPMs, I downloaded the PDF manual for
Mondo Rescue and quickly skipped down to the Try It Out

The program is initiated from a command line, so you'll have
to open up a terminal window if your using Xwindows. You'll also have to log
in as ''root.'' The command is a simple one line string and the most common
example is given in the PDF manual.

After executing the simple command, my
backup was in progress. I had about 5 and a half Gigs of data on my hard
drive, so over the course of two and a half hours, I filled almost four 700MB
CDs. But everything went smoothly and I just swapped CDs when Mondo
reqeusted it.

I was a little concerned about having to use the command
prompt to do the backup (I've become GUI dependant due to over nine years of
using MS-Windows), but it was really easy.

Now, if my hard drive ever gets
corrupted in any way, I can simply boot from the first CD of my new backup
set and my data will be restored. There are commands so you can do an
interactive restore, if it's a selected restoration of files that you
require, as well.

I give Mondo Rescue 3 out of 3.


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