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Sparky Backup System - Tricks & Tips

It can help with managing the backup tool and fix some problems if any.

Tip 1

The script can build an iso image from self compressed squashfs (done during the whole prosess) which CAN NOT be bigger then 3.99 GB. It means if the building process stops with a message:

 The compressed filesystem is larger than the iso9660 specification allows for a single file. You must try to reduce the amount of data you are backing up and try again.

you have to remove/uninstall some stuff from the system and try again.

Tip 2

The tool builds BIOS compatible iso system as default. If you would like to build the iso image which will be BIOS and UEFI compatible, you have to:

a. Create 'offline' folder in the home directory:

 sudo mkdir -p /home/offline

b. Change the folder owner to you (as option, can be managed as root):

 sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /home/offline 

(change $USER to your user name)

c. Download deb packages from Debian repository (testing versions if you build Sparky based on Debian 'testing'; or stable versions if you build Sparky based on Debian 'stable'):

64bit (amd64): efibootmgr, grub-efi, grub-efi-amd64, grub-efi-amd64-bin, libefiboot1, libefivar1

32bit (i386): efibootmgr, grub-efi, grub-efi-ia32, grub-efi-ia32-bin, libefiboot1, libefivar1

and place them inside the /home/offline folder.

Make sure that the placed debs are in the same versions as installed in your system before building the new iso.

Tip 3

Do not place much stuff in the /etc/skel directory. It breaks the live system user configuration and it will not boot properly.

The best way is to move only your desktop config files (if any) to the skel.

Tip 4

If your machine is a few (or more) years old, and can't handle with strong 'xz' compression, change it to 'gz'. It works faster, but creates 20-30 % bigger iso image than using 'xz'.

To change compression type, edit the configuration file (by any text editor):

 sudo nano /etc/sparkybackup/sparkybackup.conf

and change the line from:

 SQUASHFSOPTS="-no-recovery -comp xz -always-use-fragments -b 1M"


 SQUASHFSOPTS="-no-recovery -always-use-fragments -b 1M"

Tip 5

Used personal stuff for customization (wallpapers, themes, icons, etc.) have to be placed in system directories, but NOT in your /home - it will be not copied to the new iso directory.

Put your stuff in dirs, such as:




Tip 6

Clean the APT cache before creating new iso image, to reduce the iso size:

 sudo apt-get autoremove
 sudo apt-get clean


 sudo spb cache
tricks_tips.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/11 23:29 by pavroo