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Partclone, like the well-known Partimage, can be used to back up and restore a partition while considering only used blocks.


Install the partclone package.

Using Partclone with an ext4-formatted partition

Without compression

To backup without compression:

$ partclone.ext4 -c -s /dev/sda1 -o ~/image_sda1.pcl

To restore it:

$ partclone.ext4 -r -s ~/image_sda1.pcl -o /dev/sda1

With compression

To backup with compression:

$ partclone.ext4 -c -s /dev/sda1 | gzip -c > ~/image_sda1.pcl.gz
Note: For maximum compression use "gzip -c9"

To restore it:

zcat ~/image_sda1.pcl.gz | partclone.ext4 -r -o /dev/sda1