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Old 06-27-2008, 04:27 PM   #1
stabu
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system snapshot to DVD?


Just wondering if anybody does a system backup image to DVD?

Unfortunately I can't stop tweaking my installation, and when I have a mirror installation on another partition for testing, I just find different things to tweak on both of them.

So finally I decided I better start to backup the whole system onto a DVD, which would also be bootable.

Operationally, I don't think this is difficult, although it might be timme consuming, but the hard part will be deciding when any of my instalations is actually worth backing up ...

So I was just wondering if anybody is disciplined enough to do this, and if they can offer any brief advice.
 
Old 06-27-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
billymayday
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How big is your partition? You could boot a liveCD, dd the partition to a file and copy that to DVD (or use split to beak it up first if need be).
 
Old 06-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #3
stabu
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Hi thanks, for the suggestion ... partition is 4Gbytes.

Sure, I had some like that in mind, though dd, you know, great though it is, can be a bit over the top at times, and consequently, very very slow ... for this task, I'm saying.

I was wondering if anybody kind of routinely did this sort of thing.
 
Old 06-27-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
jkhg
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TeraByte's Image for Linux works well for this purpose.
 
Old 06-27-2008, 07:03 PM   #5
jong357
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Yea. I do it. Only I use tar then back that up to a live DVD... In fact, I wrote a script to do everything for me. Tarball and ISO creation. One more line at the end and I could have it burn as well.
 
Old 06-27-2008, 07:57 PM   #6
Woodsman
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Quote:
Just wondering if anybody does a system backup image to DVD?
DVD? No. To another hard drive? Yes.

I tend to tweak a lot too and the thought of losing everything is uncomfortable. Therefore I backup often. I have had a backup strategy of one kind or another going back to the 1980s. Of course, back then I could backup my data files to a handful of floppy disks.

These days I have two hard drives installed. My primary is a 40GB Seagate Barracuda IV. My secondary is a 320 GB Western Digital WD3200AAKS.

I have a large partition on my second drive to where I backup files using rsnapshot. I run 8 hourly, 7 daily, 4 weekly and 12 monthly backups. With these backups I focus on user home directories, shared data file directories, VirtualBox configuration files, my installed packages list, and system and user configuration files. With rsnapshot I save significant storage space and yet always have all important files backed up.

I automate the backups with cron. Because the backup drive is physically different from my primary drive but always readily available, I significantly reduced restoration times should I botch a tweaking exercise. Yes, occasionally I botch things with my experimentation. This backup strategy does not protect me from fire or theft, but my primary focus is protecting my system from me.

I run a manual full backup using a slightly different rsnapshot configuration file. My external backup drive is another Western Digital, but this one is a 750 GB WD7500AAKS. I have a SATA drive bay that I slide the drive into, and two shell scripts that I run manually to rescan the scsi bus, mount, and perform the backup. I store this drive in a small fireproof safe and the focus for this backup is the hopefully never-needed bare metal restoration.

I also have two mirrored installations. One is on my primary disk. I only boot into that location when I botch something that prevents or discourages me from booting into my normal installation. My second mirror is on my second drive. I use that location to test the Slackware current branch. The second location is expendable, of course.
 
Old 06-28-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
stabu
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cheers one and all

many thanks for the answers, they'll do me. Woodsman, I think there's probably a few entire IT depts that don't do it as comprehensively as you. In fact, I'm sure.
Can you explain the bare metal restore expression? Not quite sure what it means. Many thanks though!
 
Old 06-28-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
Woodsman
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Quote:
Woodsman, I think there's probably a few entire IT depts that don't do it as comprehensively as you. In fact, I'm sure.
Thanks for the kind comments.

My limited experience with IT departments is the people involved tend to have a backup program in place, but they are terrible at retrieving files from those backups when employees ask for help to restore files. Additionally, I have observed that because of the massive amount of data stored and backed up, restorations often fail if the file was older than a couple of months. Those comments raise a good precaution about any backup strategy: always routinely test the ability to restore files.

I hope to expand upon my previous response with a how-to at my web site. There I will share the details of how this straightforward backup strategy operates.

You could use the same strategy with DVDs. Merely have the script check that a DVD is installed before copying files or running rsnapshot. For many years I performed a similar backup with a second external drive with my Windows systems. I had a Windows script that copied all files that had changed since my last full backup (using the archive bit attribute). The primary difference now is rsnapshot saves me significant drive space by creating hard links to unchanged files instead of always copying files fully.

Quote:
Can you explain the bare metal restore expression? Not quite sure what it means. Many thanks though!
Basically, rebuilding a system with new hardware but with all the files from a previous backup. I'll let the wikipedia page provide the details:

Bare metal restoration
 
  


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