System backup before update

Yo, I haven’t updated my PC in a hot minute so i think it’s about time I do. Unfortunately, the last time i tried to update with -Syu, it messed up systemd to the point that i needed a fresh install. To prevent this, I want to back up my entire drive to another drive. Is there an easy way i can do this, just copy the entire contents of my Endeavour drive to another HDD?

There are multiple ways to backup. If you want to take a system snapshot, timeshift may be easy to use/setup. Then to backup your own files and home folders there are a variety of programs.

There was a thread about this a while ago that could be helpful:

You can read that thread @Zircon34 linked you to get multiple opinions on backup strategies and form your own, maybe also read and the referred pages on that matter or take a look here: Basically, when forming a backup strategy you should first ask yourself what you want to backup and from what things it should prevent you.

However, regarding your problem at hand:
In this case in general, I would recommend for the future to use Timeshift, it is also available in the AUR

For the most part your home folder should be sufficient to backup (it contains your data and configuration files for your application) in addition to a list of programs you installed (see on that matter). With this you are basically able to rebuild your system (as long as you have not changed too much in /etc or some other folder other than /home). That’s why I have /home on another partition than / and just mount it. You could copy your files with rsync with the -a option in order to preserve the file attributes (e.g. ownership). You should be careful with this and know what you are doing or you will mess with the ownership of the files and the restoration will fail. Especially do not store these files on a non-linux filesystem (e.g. FAT32/NTFS/exFAT) as these do not conserve ownership and permissions of the files. For your home folder that’s not that big of a deal, as these are your files anyways.

If you really want to create a backup from your complete system you can also create an image with e.g. or create one with dd (see on that) with these tools you can also restore the image.

So for your situation I suggest you make a backup of /home and an list of your installed programs, check the announcements for potential issues, run the update and install and setup timeshift afterwards for the future (I do not suggest to install it before the update, as this leads to a partial upgrade), if you are ok with reinstalling your system+programs in case of a problem. Otherwise I think clonezilla or dd should be the way to go in my opinion.

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(post deleted by author)

dd works great- although it’s kind of a lot of work if you plan to do this more than once.

I’m more interested in

  1. How long is a hot minute?

  2. Why or what happened the last time you passed -Syu and it borked up the console.

Ah, sorry, forgot about this thread.

Uh, 3 weeks I think?

Well, it went through okay and everything got updated, but then after reboot it would hang on a blank screen when booted up. Further investigation led me to believe that it had something to do with systemd getting corrupted to some extent, becaus it was throwing dbus errors, which my research pointed to as being systemd issues. Friends suggested that I downgrade systemd, but that did nothing, and at that point i was tired of dealing with it so i just started from scratch.