How to clone running system to bootable external SSD?

I have a system running RL v.8.5 with the system itself running from a 1 TB internal SSD (sda). I have a 1 TB external USB3.1 SSD.

How do I copy/clone my system onto the external SSD so that I can recover the system from the external SSD in the case of a disaster?

Clonezilla is pretty good for that.

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Awesome, I’ll check it out.

I just now used clonezilla to backup my root drive (/dev/sda). All went well.

I still need to swap a new empty SSD into the /dev/sda position and perform a restore. When that succeeds, I’ll declare victory.

I appreciate the pointer to clonezilla, so far it works exactly as advertised.