Hi all, I am a relative linux newbie, and have been surprised at the lack of documentation regarding live system backups. I come from a Windows background (i know, if you've got a complaint, see the management, not me!) and am trying to sell the idea of switching to Linux. Currently the big issue is disaster recovery. If thats not a simple proposition, the whole deal is off! What I need is a simple system to back up my demo server (Ubuntu 8.04 running a simple LAMP stack). The disk is currently using around 4GB of space, so should fit as a RAW image to an 8GB flash drive, preferably 3-4 images with compression would be good! I have tried a few dd commands, but seem to be missing something as my 4GB of data fills the drive in no time! The command i am using is:- dd if=/dev/sda conv=sync,noerror bs=64k | bzip2 -9 > /mnt/sdba/sda.img.bz2 i am using bzip2 for higher compressions ratios (quiet test server, so no hassles with excessive load) it seems to me that it is actually trying to image the ENTIRE disk (~70GB). My initial thought was that the empty areas would be zeros, therefore compress to a tiny size, hoever it seems this is not the case. I have been told that the command dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/delete.me; rm /tmp/delete.me; would set the free space to zero, however to my mind it's asking dd to create an image file from a device meant to provide zero's. Surely this won't zero anything, unless i am missing something! essentially i would like to be able to end up with a cron job which nightly backs up my disk to a flash drive, and can be restored (possibly using a LiveCD) in the event of a disaster. i want to be able to test this on a VM just to be sure. I think my problem is using the wrong terminology when googling, but i just can't seem to get anywhere with this!!!! any help would certainly be appreciated!