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Old 12-30-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
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Restore Debian Wheezy (Any Server) from a Backup

Could anybody advise please, how do I restore a server from a tar.gz backup? I have a full server backup and my KVM virtualization was completely re-built. Now I am back in via SSH. I tried to un-tar it and restart the server, but it did not work. How do I proceed? What are the correct steps to be taken? All the files are there, un-packed OK but the system does not see it. Do I perhaps have to erase everything clean first somehow? Many thanks for any help in advance!

Last edited by Klaipedaville; 01-01-2019 at 03:19 AM.
Old 12-31-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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Your hosting provider probably has its own method of doing it. E.g., one is here.
Old 12-31-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2013
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Thank you for your input, polytropos. Appreciate.

Nah.. My hosting provider doesn't give a s*** They do not have/do/run any back ups at all. Their customers (us) are mainly on their (our) own. Although the provider is pretty much generous on resources and quite cheap 'unamanaged' as well.

I figured it out and solved the problem myself and I would like to share it now how to restore your server fairly quickly and easily. First, you have to re-build it of course, that is to use your provider's template of the OS you've had there before or to do the initial 'vanila' install. Now, make sure you restore your tar ball like this:

tar -zxvpf your-full-server-backup.tar.gz -C /
The last two symbols of -C and / are very important as they will move it up one level and overwrite your existing files in /etc /home and all the other directories by your back up files. Also make sure that you place your tar ball in your /root directory. You have there your /bin /etc/ /dev /lib /home /root /var and so on, so it's again very important to place it in your /root.

Further on you may run into tar issues like I did so it's going to be very useful to run it actually like this:

tar -zxvpf your-full-server-backup.tar.gz -C / > /dev/null
Thus, it will show you the errors and will help you fix them. For example in my case it said the following:

tar: ./etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules: Cannot open: File exists
Now, it is very simple to fix it by excluding this empty file like this:

 tar -zxvpf your-full-server-backup.tar.gz --exclude=etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistentet.rules -C / > /dev/null
Please, note that I added > /dev/null at the end there again just to see if it is going to spit out any more errors again. It did not. Therefore it was safe to reboot and voila, I was back, up, and running again. Hope it will help someone out to restore it as well. I was unsuccessfully looking for this kind of info for days before I figured it out myself by experimenting and by trial and error stuff.

P.S. If you need to exclude any more files or directories you may add more --exclude(s) like this:

 tar -zxvpf your-full-server-backup.tar.gz --exclude=etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistentet.rules --exclude=etc/something/else --exclude=etc/more-files -C / > /dev/null

Last edited by Klaipedaville; 01-01-2019 at 07:04 AM.


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