Linux And A Good Backup Strategy Save The Day

When you travel a lot, chances are good that at some point your computing hardware fails without prior notice or gets stolen. It will happen, it’s just a question when and one is better prepared for it. In fact I was prepared and it paid back handsomely when a notebook under my care was stolen last week in Paris out of a backpack in a restaurant. First question of the owner: What will they be doing to my data? Second question: What shall I do now, I can’t work without the notebook?

Answer to the first question: They won’t do anything with your data, your notebook ran Ubuntu, it was encrypted to counter exactly this scenario and your password was long and diverse enough to withstand casual and less casual brute force attacks. And besides, those people were probably just interested in the hardware anyway… So rejoice you didn’t have Windows that doesn’t encrypt anything unless you have the Pro version… Yeah!

Answer to the second question (what shall I do now): 1.: Don’t panic (I’m sure you have a towel with you) and 2.: Don’t worry, the last backup of the system partition and the data partition are only 3 days old. That’s the amount of data loss you have. And 3.: Clonezilla restores your system on a new SSD in 15 minutes. Restoring your 600 GB of data to the user partition takes a little while longer but it will be done in time for me to catch that 6 am train to Paris to deliver the 1:1 replacement (minus 3 days worth of data).

So as sad as the story is, it’s great to have a working backup strategy that gets you back up and running in 15 minutes on totally different hardware with everything (still) installed and configured like on the “old” one. Thanks Clonezilla!