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Old 03-18-2007, 09:17 PM   #1
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Best way to backup Ubuntu?

Hello, I finally got my box configured to do what a windows box does right out of the box (wmv, mp3, dvd, java, flash and all those other codecs as well as installing video drivers to fix the infamous resolution problem that Ubuntu is known for). I want to back up my box now so in case something happens and I have to reinstall linux I don't have to go through all the headaches to configure every little thing since I don't trust Automatix or EasyUbuntu and do everything manually.

My question:
What is the SIMPLE and/or BEST way to backup my system (OS, personal files, applications and configurations)? What software do you use? And where can I get it (website, repository...)?

Old 03-18-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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As a general rule of thumb I usually rename all .conf files I need to change by adding a .original to the end. I can then in a worst case scenario do a
sudo find / -name .original
I can then backup those files to another location and drop them in on a new box if I need to reformat or create a new image.

I will usually have to "install" the other apps, but at least the configs can get placed in quick and I'm up an running. I realize that it's probably a little late for you now, but may help in the future. I do this for a simple reason. It takes very little drive space for a backup of a fully configured system.

As far as personal information and documents you simply backup /home every now and then, or create it on it's own partition on the hard drive and never format it on a fresh install. If you do that you'll never have to worry about backups while upgrading your distro, although you're still screwed if the h/w fails.

If you're looking for a snapshot pick up a drive image solution like Ghost or something.

Last edited by ithawtewrong; 03-18-2007 at 10:04 PM.
Old 03-18-2007, 10:27 PM   #3
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Read this:
Old 03-19-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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^^^^ Good stuff, I will try it!
Old 03-20-2007, 07:12 AM   #5
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OS: Well, the OS is the kernel that came with ubuntu so you only need to remember the version number.
personal files: Probably in /home, /root, /var/www
applications: applications are all packaged if you did this cleanly so once again, you need to get the list of packages. Additionnaly the applications that you compiled are in /usr/local
configurations: they are in /etc and in debconf files

Which summarizes to:

List of packages:dpkg --get-selections > /var/backups/apt-backup-selections

List of configuration files: debconf-get-selections > /var/backups/debconf-selections

Now tar and gzip all this:

On the remote system:

Untar 1.tgz
Reinstall the list of packages
dpkg --set-selections < /var/backups/apt-backup-selections
apt-get dselect-upgrade
This will reinstall all packages (kernel included)

Untar 2.tgz to get back your configuration files in /etc and get back debconf system files:
debconf-set-selections < /var/backups/debconf-selections

Your backup will be much much smaller and efficient.
I agree its a big more complicated, needs testing..


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