[lug] Backup

Daniel Webb lists at danielwebb.us
Tue Dec 27 23:55:23 MST 2005

On Tue, Dec 27, 2005 at 10:21:38PM -0700, Siegfried Heintze wrote:

> So let us suppose I get hacked or type fdisk by accident or a drive fails.
> Do I have a disk to boot from if
> (1) I buy hosting and send rdiff backups off site?
> (2) I backup to a USB disk?
> (3) I backup to a consumer grade network disk?
> I believe in each scenario, I have to get out the installation CDs/DVDs and
> install the operating system to boot. If it is a hardware failure, I have to
> purchase a new hard drive. I'm really slow and it takes me a terribly long
> time to rebuild a dual boot windows/linux system by the time you include all
> the software development software.
I just boot from a knoppix cd, setup the network by hand
(iwconfig/ifconfig/route/resolv.conf, unless you have a router with DHCP
setup, in which case there's no setup for Knoppix), partition, mke2fs, then
use rsync or rdiff-backup to restore.  Then setup /boot/grub/menu.lst and run
grub-install on the boot drive.  (Or you could use lilo, but why??)

Can't comment on the Windows aspect of it much, since I last used Windows in
1999.  I do remember that back then, it was very difficult to just copy the
files over and have a working Windows system.  The Windows backup program that
came with Windows 98 expected you to install Windows, *then* run the restore.
That program failing me 3 times out of 3 was part of what spurred me to learn
Linux.  Once I realized what I could do with Linux, I erased Windows from all
my computers, and haven't put it back since.  I hope to never again know more
about Windows than the average office worker.  

> I guess one can boot from the network, but I don't know if my network card
> has the required capabilities. How do I tell? If I do have that capability
> int my network card, would I be booting from another PC's drive or could
> this be a consumer grade NAS or SAN (assume there are such things).
I've done this for diskless Linux clusters, and it works well but there's
definitely an investment in learning how to do this.  You probably don't want
to learn how to do this unless you want to run diskless machines.

> Is there a better way to mitigate this other than my procedure of weekly
> connecting a second drive and using "telinit 1 ; cp /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2"?

I have cloned many Thinkpad 600Es using the simple method I described above,
and cloning is the same thing as a backup restore, so I know it works and is
easy too.

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