Mondo Rescue with RAID in Debian

What is Mondo Rescue?

Mondo is reliable. It backs up your GNU/Linux server or workstation to tape, CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R[W], DVD+R[W], NFS or hard disk partition. In the event of catastrophic data loss, you will be able to restore all of your data [or as much as you want], from bare metal if necessary. Mondo is in use by Lockheed-Martin, Nortel Networks, Siemens, HP, IBM, NASA's JPL, the US Dept of Agriculture, dozens of smaller companies, and tens of thousands of users.

Mondo is comprehensive. Mondo supports LVM 1/2, RAID, ext2, ext3, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS, VFAT, and can support additional filesystems easily: just e-mail the mailing list with your request. It supports software raid as well as most hardware raid controllers. It supports adjustments in disk geometry, including migration from non-RAID to RAID. Mondo runs on all major Linux distributions (RedHat, RHEL, SuSE, SLES, Mandriva, Debian) and is getting better all the time. You may even use it to backup non-Linux partitions, such as NTFS.

Download Mondo Rescue

Mondo Rescue Documentation

The problem is that the Debian Sarge package for Mondo does not work well with RAID (it actually does not work at all). This is because Sarge no longer supports raidtools2 but rather mdadm only. Mdadm is better, so if you have not picked it up yet you really should. Until it's patched, here is an easy work around, while not elegant, it should allow you to restore your data on RAID systems.


The first step is to have a Debian Sarge system running RAID. This can be done via the installer or later by hand whichever you prefer. Now that the installer allows you to create a RAID during the initial install, I imagine more people now run RAID on Debain than before.

Install Mondo Rescue in Debian

#apt-get install mondo

Now we need to edit some configuration files to add a few packages to mindi (part of mondo). Because the default install uses raidtools and Sarge does not have raidtools, we have to tell Mondo to add the package mdadm. Use whatever editor you like and modify


Add the following to pretty much anywhere, I put in under the "Covers a multitude of sins" section

mdadm cfdisk

cfdisk is optional but I like using that much more than fdisk.

Create the Image

There are many ways to make a mondo image. You can burn it directly to a CD/DVD but I prefer to create an iso image on the host drive and then transfer and burn it somewhere else.

#mondoarchive -Oi -d /var/images/ -S /var/images/ -E /var/images/ -s 4200m

This command creates an archive image in the /var/images/ directory. It also excludes the /var/images directory in the iso it's creating (you dont want an image of your image). The "-s" section is for size, since I am making a DVD it's at 4200 megs, but if it was a cd you leave that switch out. Make sure that the directory is already created and you can pretty much use any location you want as long as it has enough room. After it's done (it could be awhile) you will have a compressed image of you disk, usually called something like 1.iso under the images directory. Burn that disk image to a cd/dvd and you now have a bootable drive you can recover your system from.


Put the CD in machine you want to put the image on and boot (make sure boot to cd is enabled in your bios). When the Mondo boot screen appears, type


and hit return. This will get you to a basic shell where you can create your new RAID devices to put the image on.

One in the shell use tools like cfdisk and mdadm to recreate your RAID devices. I assume you have done this before but for record here is the basic instructions for a RAID 1(mirror) setup.

Create partitions of equal size on 2 hardrives.

If booting directly to the raidset without an initrd image (and you recompiled your kernel to allow this) make their type fd

Create the RAID set. (assuming your using drive hda and hdc and its partition one on those drives) - Do the below for each raid device.

mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=1 --raid-devices=2 /dev/hd[ac]1

Check /proc/mdstat and wait until they are synced

Create the file system you want, example mkfs -t ext3 /dev/md0 or mkswap /dev/md1

Now run

mondorestore-> Interactive -> Ok to mount list -> No to erase and partition -> Say no to format -> Yes to Restore all data

Grub After looking at what I wrote I realized I forgot about grub. It also seems that grub does not always work through mondo when doing it this way. To fix it you just install grub by hand. After the restore has happened it should bounce you out to the shell. This assumes you have 2 drives hda and hdc, with the first partition as the bootable partition.


device (hd0) /dev/hda

root (hd0,0)

setup (hd0)

Now we do the same thing but for the other drive, assuming that your boot partition is mirrored.


device (hd1) /dev/hdc

root (hd1,0)

setup (hd1)

Once finished you should have an exact clone of your machine running on RAID devices. You can also restore to non-RAID or visa versa but it's a little bit more tricky. If your interested in that, let me know and I will add it. I hope this helps someone that has also run into the problem with RAID, Mondo and Debian Sarge.