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Bug#69197: base: Inadequate backup instructions and tools

Package: base
Version: 20000815
Severity: wishlist

This should probably be severity: 2 or something like that but due to
the nature of this report, I think "wishlist" is the most appropriate.

I have a slightly old installation and if this has been fixed in newer
releases of Debian, I'll have to apologize. Also, there's -- obviously
-- a lot more homework I could have done, but I thought it better to
send in a simple report now rather than probably never get it done.

The perceived problem is that the base system doesn't appear to have
any facilities for making backups, beyond including basic tools such
as cpio(1) and tar(1). If the system is supposed to be usable by a
neophyte with limited administration experience (as I believe is the
intention), at the very least the FAQ and/or policy should contain a
few notes about the importance of backups and some tips on common
backup procedures.

I would also recommend including a simple backup script. The problem
here of course is that it needs to be robust, yet be usable on wildly
differing sorts of hardware, ranging from basic 386:es with only a
floppy disk for backups, to monster servers with multiple tape drives,
removable disks, local network services (backup over ftp? NFS? rsync?
HTTP PUT?), etc.

I believe NetBSD comes with a barely adequate dump(8) which could
perhaps be used as a starting point. Another candidate I'd like to
mention is the tob package, although it is "tape-oriented", as the
name implies. But it might not be too hard to adapt it to use other
media as well.

Unfortunately, I'm unable to upgrade to the most recent Debian in
order to see if this has been improved; much less play around with a
clean install of the latest release. Of course, I'd love to be wrong
on this. But if this bug report is warranted, at least I hope I can
help give Somebody Else (tm) a nudge in the right direction.

Thank you for your time,

/* era */

-- System Information
Debian Release: 2.0
Kernel Version: Linux away 2.0.34 #1 Sun Feb 28 21:48:09 EET 1999 i586 unknown

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