How to Make an ext3 Image for a Backup

The ext3 file system is still used as the default file system type by the majority of Linux distributions despite the rising popularity of XFS and other advanced journaling file systems. Using the dd command from the terminal, you can quickly build an image of your ext3 partition for later recovery or forensics use. The dd command creates a file system image by copying the hard drive bit by bit. This allows you to save an accurate and complete version of your file system for later.


    • 1

      Launch a terminal window from your Linux desktop.

    • 2

      Execute the "fdisk -l" or "mount" commands to view your partition's physical names. Copy down the name of the ext3 partition that you wish to image; this will probably be something like "/dev/sda3" depending on how your disk is set up. You may need to run these commands as the root user or using the "sudo" command as a prefix.

    • 3

      Type "dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/media/usb/image.iso" where "/dev/sda3" is your ext3 partition's name and "/media/usb/image.iso" is the location and image file to which you wish to save. In this instance, you would be making an ISO image called "image.iso" and saving it to an attached USB device.

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