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Old 08-23-2006, 10:07 AM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: 15
newbie backup questions

One of the problems i (and others) often have with Linux is if i install something that breaks Linux or stops a device working i don't know how to resolve the problems.
This often leads to many posts on here for help.
As a result i decided the best approach to this is to start with a clean Linux install, then do a backup, and then get things working one by one backing up after i get a particular device or program working and so on. I know this will be slow going but i just want to gradually get everything working fine.
By doing this i hope when something breaks i can just do a restore and either start again or look for an alternative.
My dilemma here is how best to do the backups and how to restore from these when the need arises.
Im sure something simple like tar will be fine but have a few questions regarding tar and backup/restore.
What i would like to achieve is a way of getting Linux up and running "exactly" as it was before whatever changes i make.

Firstly what directories should i back up?
I'm not too bothered about backing up my files in /home with this method as i will have a seperate backup procedure for those.
When i restore using tar, will it overwrite the files properly or am i going to have lots of permissions errors?
Does tar restore over executables? What if those executables are currently in use? Won't it throw up errors if it tries overwriting these executables?
Should i be booting off external media to avoid this problem?
Thanks for any advice given

Old 08-23-2006, 01:27 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Ohio
Distribution: Slackware && freeBSD
Posts: 676

Rep: Reputation: 30

The thing I do and it may be completely different then what others do although I have read similar posts. I create at least three or four partitions.

What directories you backup is entirely up to you, in my case I back up /usr and /home the most often.

I do exactly like you said. I use tar and cp to back up these partitions to another medium or drive. I do this weekly or whenever I make sweeping changes to something. If something goes wrong that is ireversable(which is very seldom, 1 time in the last year and a half on my slackware machine) I can resintall from scratch and copy back what I need like /home that contains all my settings etc. There is a great post on here that is about using the dd comman by AwesomeMachine, read through that, last time I checked I think it was 10+ pages inlength, although I have never done what the post contains it is a great read just to explore the possibilities within.

The greatest thing to do is create a script that does all this for you, alias the command to run the script and then you can type backupBox or whatever you aliased and then your backup is rolling.

Hope that helps some.

Last edited by lord-fu; 08-23-2006 at 01:30 PM.
Old 08-25-2006, 08:52 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Kubuntu
Posts: 49

Rep: Reputation: 15
there is ifno about dd command on this link . but i like something tar better , it would be faster. again, i guess if you image the drive , dd does exactly image the drive, so you might need bigger hard drive than source disk.
I also like to know there is imaging command in linux, like ghost?? faster and dont exactly need bigger hard disk. and doesnt have problems as many as ghost.
Also can someone point out how to tar bigger than 2G, please!!!!


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