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Old 12-15-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
MonsterMaxx
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Backup the OS


I'm a linux noob (fairly experienced in windoz), determined to learn Linux and making lots of mistakes. If we learn by our mistakes, I'm learning a lot

Trying to end up with a FC6 install that'll Myth, VMware and be a general Linux workstation to learn on.

Seems like I spend a whole bunch of time just redoing the basics when I start over after fouling up something worse than I know how to unfoul it.

Recently I've given up on Mythdora and just installing FC6.

Getting it installed and updated is very time consuming.

Is there a way I could burn a DVD w/ the current state so that when I foul it up I can just boot from CD and restore it?

Add to this that the machine does not have a burner so I'd need to be able to create an iso that I could pull over to a machine (windoz) that does have a burner.


As always, assistance is appriciated.
 
Old 12-15-2007, 12:37 PM   #2
indienick
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The best way to avoiding having to do frequent re-installs when the system gets hosed, is to just keep the base install very, very basic.

Off the bat, only install the packages you need. Then slowly - and I do mean slowly - start adding things that you want.

Granted Fedora does have a pretty time-consuming install process - have you considered trying to find a distro with a faster install process (like Debian)? As an additional note, I can get a basic Debian install working within 30 mins.
 
Old 12-15-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonsterMaxx View Post
Is there a way I could burn a DVD w/ the current state so that when I foul it up I can just boot from CD and restore it?
At work, we create an extra partition that we use to store images of the operating system. We boot System Rescue CD and create an image of the system partition using Partimage. We also backup the MBR. It's fast and a real time saver when the O/S gets hosed.
 
Old 12-15-2007, 02:08 PM   #4
b0uncer
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Quote:
At work, we create an extra partition that we use to store images of the operating system. We boot System Rescue CD and create an image of the system partition using Partimage. We also backup the MBR. It's fast and a real time saver when the O/S gets hosed.
Good idea - I'd only add that it might be a good idea to store the image somewhere else than the same harddisk the actual OS is (tapes make it easy here!).

You don't necessarily need all the fancy apps to create the image; a simple live-cd with dd (which is included in basically every live-cd distribution) does - and you'll find easily small live-cds (small in size, small in loading time). Usage of dd is very easy (just don't mix source and destination, or infile and outfile, or you'll overwrite what you'd like to backup) - and in addition it does so much more than just create images for backup'ing. There's a good thread here at LQ about dd, so read it if you're interested..

The use of a "special" image-creating software is needed if you want to create image of the used space, and be able to put that onto a larger disk (so you don't have to create image of the empty space, wasting disk/storage media because of "empty image space"). Not sure what software does that (because I haven't had to think about it ) but if you've got a storage place as big as the disk (or partition, or the piece of disk you want to image) - which tapes might easily offer you - just use dd and have it easy.
Code:
dd if=/dev/sda of=/my/backup/imagefile
That's how it basically works. There are options to dd which you possibly want to examine, but that's the short way. 'if' is where you're reading from, 'of' is where you're writing to.
 
Old 12-15-2007, 05:20 PM   #5
uncle-c
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b0uncer View Post
Code:
dd if=/dev/sda of=/my/backup/imagefile
That's how it basically works. There are options to dd which you possibly want to examine, but that's the short way. 'if' is where you're reading from, 'of' is where you're writing to.
I was just wondering bouncer, is there any limitation to the size of "imagefile." If sda was say 20Gb you would end up with imagefile being 20Gb in size. Are files sizes this big valid in ext2/3 filesystems ? If so what is the max size a file can be ?

Thanks !
uncle
 
Old 12-16-2007, 11:33 AM   #6
David1357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle-c View Post
I was just wondering bouncer, is there any limitation to the size of "imagefile." If sda was say 20Gb you would end up with imagefile being 20Gb in size. Are files sizes this big valid in ext2/3 filesystems ? If so what is the max size a file can be ?
Wikipedia has a good description of file size limits on ext2/3 partitions:
Wikipedia Ext2/3
If you are bound and determined to use dd, you can omit the "of=" parameter and pipe the output to "gzip", as in

# dd if=/dev/sda | gzip <filename>
You will also want to specify a block size of 1M to speed things up.

I will say that Partimage is faster because it parses the file system instead of just reading sectors off the device file. What takes hours using dd takes a few minutes using Partimage.
 
  


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