Mama does Mondo? Papa does Mondo? Is that a Dean Martin song? Well, anyway, here is how I backup my system:
Shut down all possible applications (this minimizes any compare differences following the backup)
For most users, that should be enough. :-) Mondoarchive will usually autodetect your hardware and configure it for you.
If you are a power user (or you like to control every detail of how Mondo runs) then you may want to look at the command-line switches. For example:-
bash# mondoarchive -Ow 2 -d 0,0,0 -9 -g
Cdrecord will tell me where my CD recorder lives, in SCSI terms, which in my case is '0,0,0'. By running Mondo from my /home directory, I am asking Mondo to use my /home directory for temp storage space. This does not affect your data. Mondo creates a folder called 'mondo.scratch' in your home directory; it then deletes it when it is done. Finally, the call to mondoarchive tells Mondo that I want to backup everything to a 2x CD-RW drive that has a CD-RW disk in it. (Use -Oc instead of -Ow if you are using CD-R.)
Please put the first CD-R(W) in the drive now. You will be prompted to insert CD #2 but you will not be prompted to insert the first disk. However, if you forget, do not worry: if Mondo fails to write the first (or any) disk, it will offer to retry, abort or fail.
I run Mondo at the highest compression available and then go to work. I then walk home at lunch (I live right by my workplace), change CD, eat lunch, and go back to work. When I get home, it has all been done.
Your mileage may vary. Experiment. Find the speed/compression compromise that best suits your needs.
If you are using cron then please use -F to make sure that Mondo does not prompt you to create bootable floppy disks. Cron does not handle user interaction well because it pipes stdin and stdout specially. Please consult cron's manual for more information. Jesse Keating has written a script for cron/Mondo users. It is available on the Documentation page.