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Best Data Compression Software.


abferm
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Hi, I have been real busy the last couple days installing and configuring software on my new laptop, and I want to make a backup as soon as I have everything the way I want it. I want to backup the entire Windows partition and possibly the whole HDD(recovery partition included). I am looking for the best free compression software out there for compressing multiple files and file types into the smallest size possible. I am not really worried about compression time. I plan on connecting the HDD to my desktop for the backup. My desktop is running Ubuntu, so it would be nice if it is Linux software.

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You can use CloneZilla to create an exact image of your hard drive and for data compression you could use 7-Zip or TUGZip.

Edited by Infiltrator
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bzip2 gives better compression that gzip, but takes a substantially longer time.

If you want an easy recovery then I would suggest the same as Infiltrator and use disk imaging software. If you want to get the best compression for the backup then I would suggest using tar with either the gzip of bzip2 options.

For a full disk I would suggest gzip over bzip2 as I don't personally think the extra time it takes bzip2 is worth the difference in the final size, especially if the backup is a regular event.

While there are many other pieces of compression software out there I wouldn't suggest them for a backup purely as you may have to recover the backup at some point and while you can be pretty sure of finding gzip and bzip2 on your basic Linux install other more exotic compression tools can be more awkward to start.

Edited by Jason Cooper
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I would do that, but my laptop has a 500GB HDD and that is the biggest one I have. I was hoping for a program that would create and compress the image at the same time. If this is not possible, what is the best archiving program for Linux?

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I would do that, but my laptop has a 500GB HDD and that is the biggest one I have. I was hoping for a program that would create and compress the image at the same time. If this is not possible, what is the best archiving program for Linux?

I got this from the clonezilla faq, as you can see clonezilla compresses standard with z1, and as jason cooper mentioned you could use bzip2 right without compressing is afterwards.

So have fun and use clonezilla :D

In the Clonezilla, the compression opitons are:

-z0, --no-compress Don't compress when saving: very fast but very big image file (NOT compatible with multicast restoring!!!)

-z1, --gzip-compress Compress using gzip when saving: fast and small image file (default)

-z1p, --smp-gzip-compress Compress using parallel gzip program (pigz) when saving: fast and small image file, good for multi-core or multi-CPU machine

-z2, --bz2-compress Compress using bzip2 when saving: slow but smallest image file

-z2p, --smp-bzip2-compress Compress using parallel bzip2 program (pbzip2) when saving: faster and smallest image file, good for multi-core or multi-CPU machine

-z3, --lzo-compress Compress using lzop when saving: similar to the size by gzip, but faster than gzip.

-z4, --lzma-compress Compress using lzma when saving: slow but smallest image file, faster decompression than bzip2.

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Thank you, I'm assuming that with a compresses image it will be smaller if there is more free space on the drive?

For most imaging software they will do a bit for bit copy so the unused space on the drive will be put into the image. If you are using a hard disk then you could create a big file filled with 0's and then delete it. Otherwise your unused space will contain random data from old deleted files which while will compress won't compress as well as a big block of consistent data (dd is a very good tool for creating these files).

If you are using SSDs then I wouldn't recommend this as they have a limited number of writes and don't store unused space in the same way.

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For most imaging software they will do a bit for bit copy so the unused space on the drive will be put into the image. If you are using a hard disk then you could create a big file filled with 0's and then delete it. Otherwise your unused space will contain random data from old deleted files which while will compress won't compress as well as a big block of consistent data (dd is a very good tool for creating these files).

If you are using SSDs then I wouldn't recommend this as they have a limited number of writes and don't store unused space in the same way.

Thanks for the tip, I think I remember a program that wipes the free space. No, I don't use SSDs. They are way out of my price range.

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