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Re: Upgrading persistent overlay?



Dear Klaus,

> Hello Andrew,
>
> Sorry for not having answered your other mails yet. :-(

No worries. :)  Thanks so much for this prompt, thoughtful, and detailed
one.  I can wait a little longer for the others.

1.) Thanks for the insight provided by how _you_ handle this.  I will try
retaining /etc, /home, and /root (wireshark config, etc.).
2.) But I am adding packages. :(

I am also concerned about quickly wearing out the flash memory.  For
example, I see lots of volatile files in /home/knoppix/.mozilla/firefox/
like "cookies".  Maybe I could also keep an image on hdd for sustained
loading and sync to/from flash when I come and go, or at least reduce
write cycles somehow.

What is your experience with flash drive life?

Regards,
Andrew

>
> On Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 08:32:32AM -0400, Andrew wrote:
>> Dear Klaus et al,
>>
>> One thing standing between me and using the persistent overlay feature
>> is
>> complications on upgrading.  I would very much like to store my
>> bookmarks,
>> calendar, contacts, etc., and customizations for day-to-day use from
>> multiple machines.
>>
>> But how do I easily merge all the accumulated data into a new Knoppix
>> version?
>
> Actually, it's not too complicated. The overlay is mounted under
> /KNOPPIX-DATA, this contains all your changes relative to the current
> read-only image.
>
> Everything in /KNOPPIX-DATA/home is "personal settings", which you can
> keep.
> Everything in /KNOPPIX-DATA/etc is "global settings", which is in most
> cases also OK to keep.
>
> Things in /KNOPPIX-DATA/{bin,bin,usr,var,boot} are more complicated to
> handle, these are changes made by additionally installed packages, which
> will shadow other files when upgrading the read-only image. So, if you
> installed a nes Samba version, the system booted with the new read-only
> part will still see your own samba version instead of the (possibly
> newer one) in the overlay.
>
> Summary:
>
> A) If you have only modified your personal and some global settings, and
> did not install any new packages, you can just copy over your
> KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.img from the old version to a freshly installed USB
> drive, and should be ready to go.
>
> B) If you installed new packages or directly modified files in /usr,
> /lib, ..., you have the option of keeping your changes and hoping for
> the best, or you delete everything in /KNOPPIX-DATA/ except for home and
> etc to start with the new, unchanged system, yet keeping your settings
> from the previous one. I should probably automatize this.
>
>> Simply copying /mnt-system/KNOPPIX/knoppix-data.aes to the new KNOPPIX
>                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>                  knoppix-data.aes is the encrypted version.
>
>> directory will not work.  The first problem that comes to mind is that
>> the
>> old debian package database will not be correct for the packages in the
>> new /UNIONFS.  Next, there will be a number of files in /etc, /root,
>> /home/knoppix, and elsewhere which will not contain new configuration
>> keys, and be otherwise less than 100% compatible with new packages in
>> the
>> new /KNOPPIX.
>
> /home/knoppix should be OK, while some files in /etc may indeed not
> match newer package versions.
>
>> I booted this system live an hour ago and find there are already 350
>> files
>> in /ramdisk.  How many files would be in /KNOPPIX-DATA after a few
>> months
>> of usage?
>
> Some of these files are just metadata which tell aufs that file
> modification times have changed, or files were removed. I don't think
> that the number of files will increase much after the first few reboots,
> unless you install new packages.
>
>> How could I possibly save my data?
>
> I would go with the option of just keeping /KNOPPIX-DATA/home and
> /KNOPPIX-DATA/etc.
>
> You could first copy over the entire knoppix-data.aes, then boot into
> runlevel 2, delete everything in /KNOPPIX-DATA/ except for home and etc,
> and then reboot. This is what I usually do.
>
> Regards
> -Klaus
>
>
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