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Backup package requirements

This is subject to discussion, preferably before I start coding.

The backup package must be able to:
o)	preserve enough information about a system to be able to re-
	create it on replacement hardware.
o)	be painless enough to use that it gets used on a regular basis,
	even by those of us who have limited time and/or are champion
	procrastinators. :-)  This implies the whole basis for creating
	a special Debian backup mechanism, which is to not backup the
	data contained within Debian packages.  This also implies that
	we must be able to make incremental backups.
o)	work reasonably with minimal hardware.  (such as a floppy drive)
o)	take advantage of better hardware.  (such as a tape drive or
	removable hard disk cartridges for unique data or NFS-mounted
	partitions or CD-ROMs containing Debian packages)
o)	re-install a system with minimal fuss.  In particular, I am
	resistant to the idea that the base system must be installed
	first.  I would like to be able to boot the system to the point
	where it is running off of a RAM-disk (hopefully with only two?
	floppies) and be able to install the appropriate Debian packages
	from a NFS-mounted partition or a CD-ROM drive and the unique
	data from the appropriate peripheral.
o)	recover intelligently from the case where the correct version of
	a package (or worse, any version) is not available.  (It seems
	that the order of package installations and removals is important.
	Perhaps dpkg could maintain a log in addition to the status file,
	which would list the packages installed in their correct order?
	-- Ian J., don't run out and implement this yet, I'm sure we need
	to discuss it further.)
o)	recognize remote and CD-ROM file systems, so as not to back them
	up.  We must be able to optionally turn this feature off, so as
	to allow for a Debian system to be able to take on the job of
	backing up a network.

   David H. Silber     dhs@firefly.com     Project:  Debian GNU/Linux (uucp)
   <http://www.access.digex.net/~dhs/>     Wanted:  Spare time.

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