[lug] Backup

Siegfried Heintze siegfried at heintze.com
Tue Dec 27 23:57:36 MST 2005

Is there anyone that attends the install fests that has hacked a linksys
NSLU2 NAS controller successfully and would be willing to help someone hack
a NSLU2?

And let us suppose I successfully hack a NSLU2 NAS controller, get a network
card with the network boot prom on it and successfully follow the
Network-boot-HOWTO so I could boot either from a local disk or the network
control. (whew! After my experience with hacking a LinkSys WRT54G I'm not
sure my odds are very good here).

This would save me the trouble of popping off my case once a week and
physically connecting my spare drive to do a backup of the boot disk? How
would I copy the local disk image to the network boot disk?

One thing I like about having a spare identical disk physically disconnected
is that it is *extremely* difficult for a hacker (or me) to destroy it. If I
had a network disk always connected, does this not make it more vulnerable
to power surges (yeah, I have a surge protector), hardware failures, fat
fingers and hackers?

Are surge protectors as effective for protecting disks as disconnected
power/data cables?


-----Original Message-----
From: lug-bounces at lug.boulder.co.us [mailto:lug-bounces at lug.boulder.co.us]
On Behalf Of Bear Giles
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2005 11:23 PM
To: Boulder (Colorado) Linux Users Group -- General Mailing List
Subject: Re: [lug] Backup

You _could_...

1) take that hackable NAS controller mentioned earlier,

2) make it into a network boot server (see 

3) ... profit!

Seriously, you can determine if your system can do a network boot by 
going into the bios configuration page.  If it's supported it will be 
one of the boot options.

Once you have a system that can handle it, you could use a hacked NAS 
controller that would allow you to perform a network boot from a 
recovery image.  A 100+M ramdisk can hold a lot of software.  (For the 
same reason all of my systems have a 100M ZIP drive as /dev/hdb.)  It 
looks like it wouldn't be hard, but I've written scripts to generate 
bootable CDRs so I'm the wrong person to ask.

You would want to have hot spare USB drives, and possibly even a 
hot-spare NAS controller, but those costs are modest.


P.S., once you have a network boot server it's fair to ask about 
diskless systems.  Once you're diskless you could "borrow" a Windows box 
as needed.

Siegfried Heintze wrote:
> Regarding our earlier discussion on December 20:
> 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
> install the operating system to boot. If it is a hardware failure, I have
> 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
> the software development software.
> 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).
> 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"?
> Thanks,
> Siegfried
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