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Re: Backing up a Debian system

On Wed, Jul 31, 2002 at 04:30:59PM -0500, Drew Scott Daniels wrote:

> On Wed, 31 Jul 2002, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > apt-cache + graphviz.  But be warned, the output will be larger, more
> > complex and less useful than you expect.
> >
> The top level is the most interesting usually. I think I remember a gnome
> or other graphical front end doing something like what I want. I know
> there's a program to keep track of what programs you want and have it
> automatically remove the undesired packages that creep in.

aptitude does this.

> > My backups are aimed toward reconstructing the system from a Debian archive
> > + the backup.  This means saving selections and package versions,
> > /usr/local, /etc, /home, /var and any local directory hierarchies.  I also
> > back up my partition table and the like.
> >
> How do you save the package versions, did I miss that in --get-selections?

--get-selections only stores the selections themselves.  You'd be better off
just backing up the entire status file.

> My etc collects quite a few default configuration files so many of these I
> can get from reinstalling their packages. I also sometimes have files that
> I forget under standard directories, or special modifications.  Ideally
> all of these would be documented, but some sysadmins inherit a system, and
> some don't remember where they put their documentation. I like to check
> all directories for non package files.

Yes, it should be possible to omit unmodified configuration files as well.
In most cases, these are insignificant when compared with the size of the
backup, but if the restore doesn't go exactly according to plan, it helps to
have a minimal set of configs.

I don't install non-packaged stuff in package-managed areas, with the
exception of /etc (which gets backed up in its entirety); any non-packaged
software that I expect to keep goes in /*/local.

 - mdz

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