[sf-lug] List of open source backup programs

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon May 12 13:56:54 PDT 2008

Quoting RBV (GoodWriter2548 at earthlink.net):

> Having experienced firsthand the difficulty of finding an open source  
> alternative to Norton Ghost, I thought I'd share this link with the  

When I need to copy a bunch of files between two Linux machines, I
generally just use any old live-CD Linux distribution and send the files
across an ssh tunnel using rsync.  (No, Christian, not for moving 1.5
terabytes of video files.)   In other words, IMO, stating the issue as
finding "an open source alternative to Ghost" is overdefining the
problem, and one is much better off keeping it simple, Unix style.

I guess if one's implicit primarily objective is "Make Linux work
exactly like $PROPRIETARY_OS to the extent humanly possible", then you
would flail about looking for something that looks and acts like
Symantec/Norton Ghost.  I personally don't share that motivation; I
generally just want to copy a bunch of files.

> http://packratstudios.com/index.php/2008/03/11/symantec-ghost-who-a-list-of-open-source-alternatives/

Disturbingly, the author seems to be trying to find _backup_ programs.
Symantec/Norton Ghost was always a poor substitute for real backup, and
he seems to be trying to find equally poorly-suited alternative programs
on Linux.  

In particular, he seeks to backup "applications and all" (his wording).
It's dumb to include Linux applications and other system binaries in
one's backups; that's a $PROPRIETARY_OS fetish.  Of course, it's
entirely possible that he's seeking to use Linux utilities to handle the
contents of $PROPRIETARY_OS filesystems.

More information about the sf-lug mailing list