Backup and Restore Procedure

I have a Raspberry Pi 3. I use my Mac and VNC to maintain it. I’m trying to gain a full understanding of “Backup” and “Restore”.

Several years ago I had a PC running Windows, and I had a bootable CD containing a backup/restore program. I could boot the system on the CD and create a backup image file of my entire Windows system on a partition of my system hard drive. When I was initially setting up my Windows system I would make backup as I installed applications so I could easily revert to a previous state if necessary.

The Backup Addon is part of the system I want to back up and is not independent of the system. This is problematic, I think. The backups also should be written to an external location and not on the microSD card of my Raspberry Pi.

I think I can use rsync to copy the entire osmc user account from the Raspberry Pi to my Mac. I would write a simple script to do this, compressing the directory and naming the .zip or .gz compressed file. I would also write a simple script to restore the osmc user account.

I’m seeking comments regarding the feasibility of my approach.

From memory, the backup tarball actually gets saved locally before being copied to the remote location, rather than being by built at the remote location. You need to set the location via the settings. Kodi has limitations in what can be seen in the UI unfortunately, which I recall made either the backup location or restore browsing problematic. The full user folder includes a huge Thumbnails cache folder, that usually represents the bulk of the size and isnt strictly necessary as it can be reconstructed after restore.

Edit: I should also point out that a prerequisite of the in-system-restore of the files is the re-installation of OSMC, but as it’s a simple tarball individual components can be retrieved as needed.

I am having problems with OSMC Backup and Restore utility as well. Posted about it here and got no response ( Backup done but how to restore ). Instead I was directed to the Backup addon, which works great. It can compress the backup and transfer it to a network location (in my case a NAS via NFS). It also gives you the ability to choose what to backup, including 2 entries that you can fully customize.

There is also the other option of creating an image of the SD Card itself. It takes a lot of space (basically the size of the SD Card) but if you have a linux computer and know your way around it, I think it is possible to only image the boot section(?). I’m not experienced in linux so I haven’t tried that approach.

There’s a discussion on copying files from SD card to external disc and back here.