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First my Comment:
There is lots of good information in this site, if you take the time to dig for it. I work in a medium sized datacenter where we have Linux,AIX, HPUX, and WIN2003 Server. We have the 2 groups of administrators Unix/Linux and Microsoft. We are adding more servers running Suse 9, Suse 10, Red Hat 4. I have been a system admin for 20 years coming from the IBM, HP Unix area. It would be nice if this forum was to be divided into two sections. SERVERS and DESKTOP. Being in the data center we are not interested in playing MP3 files or finding video drivers. I am more interested in issues with the OS, applications, disaster recovery, and administration.
This leads me to my question: Has anyone found any “good” utilities that will assist with recreating a system after a major failure? I have tried something called "clonesys.sh" from Novell SUSE, but it doesn't work on my systems because of various dependencies. I have tried MkrecCD, but I just don't have the time to play with it. About the only thing that came close is Mondo. It works ok if your system is configured with LVM and you don't run into some dependency issues. All I need is a process to recreate the OS and disk configuration, no data, just a bootable basic system. I can restore the rest of the "stuff" from backup.
HP and IBM, both have a great utility for this (very necessary) process. HP has Ignite and IBM has MakesysB
Well, unlike with Windows, Linux can be both desktop and server, so I don't see it's sane dividing a site into two. The questions are in the end always problem-specific, not "server" vs. "desktop" specific. And using the search tool releases you from choosing between server and desktop anyway - you can search for a direct answer or related questions - so I don't think it's worth it.
RedHat/Fedora provides, or at least used to provide, a thing called "kickstart configuration" - there was a tool where you could define a configuration and have a kickstart file written out of it (a plaintext file with instructions to do what you chose - disk setup and so on, you could even put there scripts you wanted to run during the setup), and then use that kickstart file when doing a setup. So it was possible to modify an installation disc with a self-made kickstart file and have it run the setup trough not asking the user for what to do, but reading the instructions from the kickstart file. In one place where I worked we actually had a modified Linux installed this way - it suited the situation, but that of course depends on what you need. Not sure how other distributions handle this, but I'm fairly sure it is possible to do something equal with any Linux - I'd be astonished if it wasn't.
Another option is to have an image of a "clean" installation that you put on the machines - but that requires that the configuration is the same for all the machines where it's put in. And the image is probably a lot bigger than you would want to..
Distribution: Solaris 9 & 10, Mac OS X, Ubuntu Server
Actually, the forums are sort of split. There is a linux desktop forum, a linux server forum, a linux security forum, and a linux enterprise forum, for example. And, while it is interesting to browse particular ones, typically, I use the search facility to find particular things and spend some time browsing the view of latest posts and the zero reply threads. People use different descriptive terms or keywords to describe the same things, and I'll stumble on something browsing that my searches didn't turn up.