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dragos19 05-19-2008 09:01 PM

duplicating a live server with rsync?
I have a project coming up and I need some advice/insight. Here is the situation: I have a client who is renting a server and he feels he is paying too much. He asked me to purchase a server for him and install it in a data center. It's a LAMP server that hosts a few different websites. I will have physical access to the new machine but probably not to the current (rented) machine.

Getting in the business of reconfiguring all the DNS and Apache stuff will be real pain. What I want to try instead is a simple clone of the old to the new with rsync over ssh. I can almost guarantee that the servers won't have the exact same hardware.

My questions:

Do you think rsync will work on a live server? Won't the live server have some swap files or whatever that won't be copied over and I will potentially have a bad copy?

Do you think that the only way to get a good initial rsync on the machines is to have physical access to both of them?

What would be the ideal way of doing this (besides getting the exact same machine and having physical access to both and doing a dd type thing).

I am open to suggestions. Thanks!

forrestt 05-20-2008 01:59 PM

You can duplicate the live server with rsync without many problems. You just can't rsync the entire system though. You will still need to configure DNS and Apache, but you can use the configuration files from the live system as a starting point. Your MySQL database won't copy over very well either. As far as web pages or apps, you can do something like the following from your new server after networking is configured:


rsync -ave ssh /path/to


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