Mondo Rescue















Thank You's



PC Quest LinuxTip Linux Journal - 2003 Linux Journal - 2001 NewsForge Linux.Com

Check out these references to Mondo Rescue here, here, and here. That last one plays the role of a sorbet, to clear the palate. Oh, and we made top 5 of the OS Global list of backup solutions.


July 13th, 2004

Mondo and Mindi's new snapshots support ACLs and extended attributes (if your distro does). That slows down the backup process by 15-20%. This will be reduced to 5-10% in the development branch (when that opens). Stability is more important than speed.

June 29th, 2004

Mondo 2.02 and Mindi 1.02 are out. They are much more supportive of older distros and are less likely to trigger the kernel/fdisk/ioctl() problem which some LVM users encounter not just with Mondo but with Linux distro installers such as the ones used by Mandrake and SuSE.

June 21st, 2004

Mondo 2.01 and Mindi 1.01 are out. There were two showstoppers, both affecting Windows users who backup to tape. There were also some spurious error messages and some minor bugs which I took the time to fix.

It looks as if Partimage 0.6.2 does not support Windows XP (64-bit edition)'s version of NTFS yet. Time will tell. 64-bit users, be warned.

June 18th, 2004

Mondo 2.0 and Mindi 1.0 are out, finally. Enjoy.

April 19th, 2004

Mindi-0.9x used to copy the kernel directly to the 1.44MB boot floppy (if 1.72MB boot/root floppy was too small to accommodate the kernel and the rootfs). Now it uses LILO. That way, it's more compatible with modern kernels.

April 18th, 2004

I've added experimental star support and AMD64 support to the development branch. The new 64-bit distros are Fedora Core 1, Fedora Core 2, SuSE 9.0 and Mandrake 10.0, of which MDK10 and SUS9 are good. By 'good', I mean I've backed up and restored them using the 1.7x/0.9x snapshots. I have not even tried to do that with the FC distros yet.

I have also added the '-b' command-line switch, to let users specify the internal tape block size to be used by mondoarchive and mondorestore. Tape streamers should accept a sensible block size of, say, 32KB which is Mondo's default but some drives just don't want that. This is what happens when tape streamer vendors do not talk to kernel driver writers. God bless them all.

Someone told me yesterday that Mondo is the only Open Source DR (Disaster Recovery) solution on the block. That is either a good thing or a bad thing. It could mean Mondo is a lightning rod that attracts the best developers and therefore gets the most users, so no-one else bothers competing. More likely is that Mondo is adequate (not great, just adequate) so the alternatives (and there must be some) don't get the attention they deserve, simply because most users don't look very hard for alternatives to adequate solutions.

Of course, it's possible that Mondo is so inferior that users stick with Closed Source solutions like Veritas, BRU, Lone Tar and Arkeia. Perhaps only the cash-strapped and the politically extreme use Mondo. I don't know. I only see the bug reports, which is fine because that's my job but it does mean I don't get a realistic picture of Mondo's use in the real world.

On the one hand, now and then, people tell me, 'We love Mondo, it's the best thing we've found for our purposes, we use it on dozens of PCs, etc.' and then other people tell me, 'It doesn't run on our hardware, it doesn't like your tape streamers, etc.' It's odd. It's almost as if - *gasp* - Mondo runs for some users but not others. The trouble is that the 'others' seem rarely to come to the mailing list with their problems. They prefer to bitch about them. That's typical of consumers, really. This is why I have some sympathy for Customer Service depts at companies such as Dell. The good ones try to help but they are usually kicked in the teeth because the customer has already been on the receiving end of bad customer service, often from someone at the same company as the good CSR.

It's like dating. You, the new girlfriend, often end up having to pick up the pieces and clear up the mess left by your date's previous girlfriend. Let's face it, all the best men are taken and usually by bitches, so your only hope of finding a nice boyfriend is to make friends with nice, attached guys and wait for their bitchy girlfriends to dump them. At least then you'll know what you're dealing with.

But back to software. Does anyone realize how hard it is to run a project like this? The paying customers do, which is funny because they're the ones who complain the least. It's the non-paying users who tend to do the most complaining and put the least effort into fixing the problems they encounter, which is a pity because the source code is right there.

So many people seem oblivious to the fact that I am under no obligation to publish the binaries on the Internet at all. I could simply sell the CD, remove the source code (and binaries) from the website, and that would be that. I could leave CVS access there for the hardcore hobbyists. People don't read the GPL and they don't understand, I do this because I want to, not because there is a philosophical gun to my head. It's pathetic when people get something for free (including its recipe), don't like its quality, bitch about it and then expect someone else to do something about it. These are the same people who misread the GPL and complain when they can't get their snort of Open Source coke for free anymore.

I don't mind providing the source code. I don't mind publishing it on the Internet (Which I'm under no obligation to do). I don't mind giving free technical support via the mailing list (which, again, I'm under no obligation to do). I do mind when total strangers e-mail me, telling me Mondo sucks, providing me with no technical information, expecting me to solve their problems for free, then getting all butt-hurt when I point out that I'm not a free resource and that my time has value. The website makes it clear: there's a mailing list, there's a web forum, and also there's a PayPal button if you want 1-on-1 technical support from me. Yet, people keep trying it on. Does it hurt to be that stupid? It should.

Some people will read this rant and think I have a bad attitude. If you think that, consider the possibility that certain members of the Open Source community have been jumping on my last nerve for nearly 5 years. If you have the patience of Job, you're welcome to take my place and see how long that patience lasts. In the meantime, suspend your judgement and consider why I feel the way I feel about the way people behave. If you took your attention away from my attitude ant directed it towards the people who gave it to me, you might not like what you see... but of course, it's much easier to dislike one man's attitude than it is to acknowledge the poor quality of behavior exhibited by a significant proportion of the Open Source community.

It's human nature. People will try it on, day and night. Men carpet-bomb women with crass invitations in the hope that one woman will accept (and there is usually one who does because of low self-esteem or a sick curiosity). Employers publish advertisements and recruit people at ridiculously low levels of pay for absurdly difficult jobs because that's how the Free Market works. I'm offering X for $Y; there will be someone to buy it. There might be only one person (hence the supply/demand curves and their interaction) but there will always be someone. Even Hitler had a girlfriend, which just goes to show, no matter what kind of person you are, you can find your match. The same is true in Open Source. No matter how crappy your program, someone will (a) use it and (b) write you a long e-mail about how you could improve it. They will also (c) offer no real help for you to achieve [b].

March 30th, 2004

I'm adding SuSE 8.1 and Fedora Core 2 support at the moment. Watch this space (not literally).

March 27th, 2004

New snapshots are out. Lots of bugs have been fixed. Please try these latest releases and send your feedback to the mailing list or web forum.

March 25th, 2004

I'm back in England to re-sit an exam. In the meantime, I've modified Mondo to backup NTFS partitions under Knoppix. Accordingly, new snapshots (Mondo 1.75_20040329 and Mindi 0.95_20040329) will be releasedon Monday for public consumption. To use them:-

1. Boot from your Knoppix 3.3 LiveCD.
2. Open a terminal on the GUI.
3. Type:
  # su -
  to become root.

4. Insert your Mondo Install CD in your other CD-ROM/DVD drive or mount it across your network.
5. Mount it. If you are mounting another CD drive, it will be something like this:
  # mkdir /mnt/auxcd
  # mount /dev/hdd /mnt/auxcd -t iso9660 -o ro
  # /mnt/auxcd/setup

  In my case, I have the original filesystem on my network, so I do this:
  # mkdir /mnt/mondostuff
  # netcardconfig setup the network
  # mount /mnt/mondostuff -t nfs
  # /mnt/mondostuff/MondoCD/setup

6. When asked whether you want (S)table or (D)evelopment, type D <Enter>.
7. When the 'setup' script terminates, type:
  # export PATH=/ramdisk/usr/bin:/ramdisk/usr/sbin:$PATH
  # mkdir -p /ramdisk/foo
  # echo hi > /ramdisk/foo/bar.txt
  # mondoarchive -OVt -d /dev/st0 -gF -I /ramdisk/foo -x /dev/hda1 -W
  (Something like that, anyway.)

The mondoarchive command is a typical call to mondoarchive execpt for:
a) the dummy loading of regular files, thanks to /ramdisk/foo
b) the fact that it backs up my NFS partition (-x /dev/hda1)
c) the fact that the archives are NOT bootable (-W)

I've backed up /dev/hda1 (NTFS partition), wiped it w/ dd if=zero of=/dev/hda1 ..., restored from backups, and booted back into Windows 2000. It appears Mondo now backs up and restores NTFS partitions while running on a Knoppix LiveCD.

Users are welcome to report their experiences, problems, etc. to the mailing list.

Next on the agenda - Fedora Core 2 support, Bacula support, AMD64 support, Itanium 2(?) support.

March 12th, 2004

My wife and I have emigrated to Fresno, California. I returned to England today to re-sit a Law exam but I expect to join my wife again in the States shortly.

February 12th, 2004

Debian, meet my last nerve. Last nerve, meet Debian. Be nice to each other.

January 10th, 2004

Happy New Year. My wife and I are (a) expecting a baby and (b) emigrating to California soon. I am doing full-time contract work for an Internet start-up in Martlesham, Suffolk. Kate still isn't allowed to work and my US visa still isn't here. Gotta love Immigration. Oh, and there's a new(ish) article on Mondo - click here.

November 18th, 2003

I've updated Mindi 0.9x's busybox from 0.60.5 to 1.0.0pre3 and its uClibc from 0.9.19 to 0.9.23, in preparation for adding kernel 2.6.x support to the development branch. NTFS support in Mondo 1.7x is finally fixed for good. It took six months but I think it will be worth the effort.

November 10th

Groovy. WebDragon has created a pretty little logo for people who want to tell the world their website is protected by Mondo. I have dropped one onto the front page of this website.

November 8th

Good news for all you Yum users out there! Good ole Uncle Jesse has taken care of you. Here is a copy of an e-mail Jesse sent to the mailing list today:-

    For the adventurous, there is now a yum repository of CVS snapshot mondo/mindi rpms, as well as the stable version of their deps not found on regular Red Hat media (afio, buffer, lzo, lzop). I'll be making rpms of CVS snapshots every couple of days or so, continuously updating the yum repot. If you wish to use yum, add a block to your /etc/yum.conf that looks something like this:

    name=Red Hat Linux $releasever - Mondo

    Or for your Fedora Core users, I haven't left you out:

    name=Fedora Core $releasever - Mondo

    Soon to come is RHL 7.3, RHEL3, and Immunix 7.3 repots.

    If you don't use yum, but would like to access the rpms, just click on the "baseurl" link above, and dive into the RPMS/ directory. If you wish to have the .src.rpms to play with, you can find them here:

    This layout may change in the future, as well as the package naming scheme.

    But for now, happy hacking!

You heard it here first, folks.

November 7th

Mondo v1.67 and Mindi v0.87 were released a few days ago without any fanfare at all. :) On the whole, the response has been positive. A few bugs still exist (don't they always?). They are listed on the Known bugs section of the Support page. We're working on them when we have time.

I am now in full-time employment again, my dissertation is due in a month, I have two 3000-word papers due in 2 weeks, and so on. Of course, this means Mondo must take a back seat.

October 22nd

New Mondo 1.6x, 1.7x and Mindi 0.8x, 0.9x snapshots are being uploaded now. I've added a 'Known bugs' section to the Support page. I'm adding support for Red Hat 6.0 and 7.0 for fun. :)

I am also working on a page concerning mini-PCs. Check it out.

October 8th

Check out these references to Mondo Rescue here, here, and here. That last one plays the role of a sorbet, to clear the palate. Fred Saft - do one thing. Blow me. :-)

October 5th

Mondo 1.7x (the development branch) now differs from Mondo 1.6x in the following ways:-

  • It supports native DVD (re)writing

  • It supports OnStream tape drives
  • It has proper NTFS support
  • It catalogues your filesystem 20-30% faster than Mondo 1.6x does, with a pretty UI to boot
  • Its GUI detects your NFS partitions and excludes them by default
  • Its GUI detects your Windows (NTFS) partitions and 'partimages' them by default
  • It supports text-only restore, which is handy for SuSE users and others w/ broken Newt libraries
  • It lets you specify your own filelist via the -J switch
  • It lets you ask for the CD-ROM drive never to eject, which is handy if your computer case would break in the event of an unexpected ejection (WTF is wrong with PC designers these days?)
  • The code is much cleaner and has better inline documentation

You're welcome to try it (in conjunction with Mindi 0.9x) but please remember, it is beta-quality code. If it eats your data, you are on your own. Still, I've finally fixed Mondo 1.7x's NTFS support. I zeroed out the destination hard disk & then nuke-restored my main development box onto it. I was able to boot into Windows 2000, watch DVD movies, chat on the Net, etc. Everything was there, right down to the orange roof on Howard Johnson's outhouse. This is great.

September 26th

New snapshots are coming soon which support DVD-writing! (1.7x only)
# mondoarchive -OVr 2 -d /dev/scd0 -gF

That's how I backup my PC. :-)

Oh, and Jesse Keating is mentioned in an article on HyperSCSI. It's about time someone acknowledge his hard work. He has so many fingers in so many pies (21 at last count...).

September 24th

Debian 3.0's 2.4.18 stock kernel (available on CD#5) appears to support Mondo. That's right, folks: Debian and Mondo play nicely. I don't know who made it so but I'm glad they did.

Mondo also works with Trustix 2.0 and SME 5.6 now. The new packages are on the Download page.

I am documenting the code at the moment. Fun.

Oh, and Mondo made it onto the cover of Linux Journal. There is five-page article. For anyone interested, here is the predecssor - my 2yo article in the same magazine. inside, too.

September 21st

Mondo v1.7x has multi-tape support again. I'm quite excited about this because Mondo v1.7x now supports OnStream ADR and ADR-2 drives, which were always tricky in the past. The GUI is a little nicer too. It's all coming together, thanks to the hard work of all members of the devteam. Oh, and NTFS support is now better than ever, thanks to partimagehack-static.

September 16th

Mondo v1.7x now uses partimagehack-static (a bastardized partimage, available from Mondo's Download page) to backup and restore NTFS partitions without backing up the unused sectors. I have also rewritten mondo-makefilelist as a C subroutine, which shaves 30s or so off mondoarchive's execution runtime. The -D (differential) flag no longer supports multi-level differentials. If you want it badly enough, you'll write a patch, right? :)

September 13th

I saw American Pie 3 last night with my wife. We had a super time.

NTFS support still isn't quite right in 1.7x, although it is fine in 1.6x; will I have 1.7x ready by December? Time will tell. I've rewritten 1.7x's tape buffer code and it seems to work fine with ADR and ADR-2 drives, which were always problematic until now.

There is a meeting on Sunday at 18:00 GMT in #mondo on; everyone is welcome.

September 10th

The user-friendly Mondo installer ISO is now available.

September 6th

A new PDF manual is on the way, courtesy of... you'll see. :) There is a new, souped-up installer CD on the way too. I am looking at ArkLinux, Gentoo, Debian and an ADR2 (wait, isn't that a rifle?) tape streamer this weekend.

I've recently added Partimagehack support to Mondo. Partimagehack is just partimage with a few hacks by yours truly, so that Windows users may backup NTFS partitions with Mondo without backing up the unused sectors as well. Partimagehack is available for download from the obvioius place (yes, the Download page), as is the Mondo 1.7x branch and its corresponding Mind 0.9x branch.

August 1st

New 1.6x, 1.7x snapshots are out. They fix a couple of silly bugs which were floating around for months but which I could not fix because I did not possess suitable hardware for testing my bugfixes. I do now, thankfully.

July 29th

Nightmare. Ugh. CVS bad. Hugo's sources good. Hugo tired of firefighting. Hugo need rest. Unfortunately, Hugo has just moved house and is now working full-time, so Hugo can't bust his butt for freeloading quarterbacks anymore. ;) His wife won't let him. Still, new finals are out so Hugo can rest easy knowing people are now able to protect their vital bits for free.

July 15th

New snaphots. CVS should be okay now but please send all feedback to us, just in case.

July 10th

New snaphots. We have had problems with CVS and are working on them at the moment.

Nice script from Phazeman and Crash3m, to backup/restore over NFS using Mondo and a cronjob - backup-kungfu-0.1.tar.bz2 - check it out.

Rhys has set up a groovy new PHP-based forum for Mondo users - go to :-) It will soon be but that will take a few days.

June 29th

Back from vacation. New snapshots.

June 12th

New snapshots. Lots of minor bugfixes. Groovy, baby. I've tried to improve SME support.

June 4th

The auto-mirroring between and was broken. Thank you, Dagfinn Bakken, for pointing that out. I believe the bug has now been fixed.

May 2003 and earlier...