A public thanks to http://www.mondorescue.org/ This is backup software for Linux (Debian package available) which is very easy to use. I have a laptop bought from work. There was some administration in getting it handed over formally, so while I was waiting I set it up with Debian. Eventually bureaucracy caught up, meaning that the hard drive needed to be wiped nine times. This despite that fact that machine's performance in its XP days was crippled by SafeGuard disk encryption, but if you learn one thing in life, it's to never take on bureacracy in a frontal assault.  Mondo backs up to DVD, makes a bootable DVD and then completely restores the machine, partitions and all. It sounds like a disk image program, but at the same time it allows the DVD image to be stored on disk, it allow access to a file catalog for recovery, and it does incremental backups. And it's easy to use. Couldn't see where to make a donation. But I'm available for references.