How To Backup Your Ubuntu System With Remastersys

After countless hours of configuring, tweaking, installing new applications onto your Ubuntu system, the last thing that you want to do is to reformat and start everything all over again. Remastersys is here to save you all this trouble. Remastersys is a simple and easy to use application that allows you to easily clone and backup your Ubuntu system so that you can quickly restore your computer to its previous state in the event that it crashes.

There are two thing that Remastersys can do:

  1. To do a full system backup, including all installed applications, their settings and your personal data, to a live CD or DVD. You can use this live CD or DVD to restore your system or to install it in another computer. You can also bring it around and use it everywhere as a Live CD.
  2. To create a custom distributable copy of your current Ubuntu system and share it with your friends.

Remastersys comes with a GUI to guide you through the process. There is little or no configuration to do. In as little as one step, you will be backing up your Ubuntu (or creating custom distributable iso) in no time. Remastersys works only in Ubuntu and its derivative such as Linux Mint.

Installing Remastersys

In your terminal,

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line to the end of the file.

For Gutsy and Earlier

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository remastersys/

For Hardy and Newer with original grub

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository ubuntu/

For Karmic and Newer with grub2

# Remastersys
deb http://www.geekconnection.org/remastersys/repository karmic/

Save and exit.

Update the repositories and install Remastersys

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install remastersys

Once the installation has finished, go to System -> Administration -> Remastersys Backup

If you have any other windows or applications running, close them all. Click OK to continue.

remastersys-screenshot1

Select the action that you want to do. If you want to create a backup of your system, including all the personal data, highlight Backup and click OK. If you want to create a distributable copy of your current system, select Dist and click OK.

remastersys-selection

Remastersys will proceed to do the task that you have specified. This will take a long time, depending on the number of applications and files in your system.

remastersys-in-process

You will receive a prompt when the backup process is done. The backup cd filesystem and iso can be found at /home/remastersys/remastersys folder.

remastersys-finish

If you have Virtualbox or VMware installed, you can test the iso file by loading it in a virtual machine.

remastersys-bootup

Conclusion

Remastersys is a powerful, yet simple to use application. There is no technical knowledge involved. You simply load it up, select the option and off it goes. It is ideal for backing up your system so that you can restore it in the event your system crashes. I like the feature where it allows you to create a custom distribution of Ubuntu. Over the time, I have received many queries from friends on how to install the various applications. With Remastersys, I can now create my own distro with all the applications pre-installed and distribute them to my friends.

For alternative way to create your custom distro, check out Reconstructor.