MXlinux NO1

Normally I don’t trumpet any distro as being the supreme distro of the universe, as it can come across as impolite, but there is a cool thing I discovered recently in MX Linux that I really appreciated.

A fellow Linux user I recently met wanted to do a compressed full disk backup of his Linux Mint Install. I felt this was a job for zstd, which I had installed, so I made a bootable USB stick for him containing it, using the “MX Snapshot” tool (and I checked the “Resetting accounts (for distribution to others)” radio button under “Type of snapshot”.) This radio button was the cool new thing I discovered, allowing me to give the friend the zstd tool (which wouldn’t be included on the stock MX Linux .iso), but not any of my own personal files.

Then I burnt the snapshot to the USB stick using “MX Live USB Maker”. Then I gifted the stick to him, he booted from it (note: his CPU has 4 cores, 8 threads), and I showed him the few commands he needed to make and restore zstd-compressed backups, which went something like this:

As root:

To create a disk image, reading from the internal NVME drive, in this case called /dev/nvme0n1, saving to a compressed image on a second 256GB USB stick:

zstd -v --threads=7 < /dev/nvme0n1 > /media/demo/256GB/disk_bak.zst

The USB stick needs to be safely ejected after that, of course.

To restore a compressed image back to the internal NVME SSD, in this case /dev/nvme0n1, uncompressing on the fly:
zstdcat -v /media/demo/256GB/disk_bak.zst > /dev/nvme0n1

That was my good deed of the day. Works for backing up any distro or OS, granted the compressed backup will fit wherever you are backing up to.