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Gianni Valenti 02-20-2012 11:35 AM

How to make an online backup of my system disk
 
Hi all,
I have a noob question and I hope you may help me.

I have a debian file server and I have no monitor or keyboard I can use to access the machine. I only log in via ssh from my laptop.

Now, what I would like to do is making a backup of the system disk (about 16 Gb).

First question:
considering that my system boots from sda, do you think I could simply switch to runlevel 1 and do "dd if=/dev/sda | gzip [...]" and have a correct backup?
Otherwise I could use dd to backup only MBR and then tar to backup "/", but I'd prefer the first option.
However, I think switching to runlevel 1 could be useful to prevent too many writes on disk during the backup. What do you think?

Second question:
since the ssh server is down at runlevel 1, I was thinking I could use a serial link to control the machine from my laptop. Do you think it's possible to have a serial console running at runlevel 1?
Would it be correct if I add "T0:123:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyS0 115200 vt100" to /etc/inittab?

Thank you very much for your help.

Bye,
Gianni

uhelp 02-20-2012 12:11 PM

If you are doing this, take care to come back from "init 3". You do not want "init 1".

And I think all of this isn't necessary at all.
You should be able to read with "dd" without any change of system parameters.

And yes, you can add a serial console. But test this before you try.

Gianni Valenti 02-20-2012 12:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by uhelp (Post 4607443)
And I think all of this isn't necessary at all.
You should be able to read with "dd" without any change of system parameters.

Hi uhelp,
I've red bad warnings about dumping a disk while mounted.

Read this comment for instance: http://www.backuphowto.info/comment/422#comment-422.

Bye (and thanks for your reply),
Gianni


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