Recovering files from a Ghost 4 Linux/Unix bzipped image (G4U/G4L)

Recently a colleague of mine used G4L to backup his disk. G4L is nice and handy if you want to backup an entire disk in zipped (bz2) format and ship it off to an ftp server for backup. We now needed to recover some files off that backup. The issue is all of our machines are identical, and since the backup was a lowlevel image of the entire disk, unzipping the img would not be possible. This post describes the steps I took to manage to mount partitions out of the bzipped image.

Doing some research, it became apparent that G4L uses Gnu DD behind the scenes to create the disk image. Basically G4L is a wrapper around dd to make it easier to perform networked backups. This was great as it meant that I did not have to deal with proprietery or weird formats.

CPR for My Dying Disk

Over the past week or two my hard disk showed signs of illness, I ignored those signs which resulted in severe illness of the drive. I usually keep my machine running. Moreover, I am running KDE4, so buggy behavior was quite expected on my behalf. I realised my disk was dying only when it was too late, I was getting read errors.

Long story short, I got another disk and promptly began the recovery process. I booted off an old recovery distro I had on my USB stick (Ubuntu Rescue Remix 8.04).