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Re: Backing up a Linux system

On Thu, Aug 03, 2000 at 12:42:17PM -0700, Krzys Majewski wrote:
> On Thu, 3 Aug 2000 kmself@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> > On Wed, Aug 02, 2000 at 05:28:14PM +0100, bsamuels@datamansys.co.uk wrote:
> > > Debian Potato (Frozen) with Slink  KDE.
> > > 
> > > I want to be able to backup my linux system to scsi tape (nst0)
> > > such that, if my hard drive falls into little pieces one bright
> > > sunny day, I can boot from a rescue floppy and restore the lot
> > > onto a new drive without having to re-install anything.
> > > 
> > > I plan to use afio for the backup in conjunction with the
> > > Tomsrtbt rescue floppy (an amazing piece of work).


(what you want to save)

> > Persistant system state: /var

> > Stuff you *REALLY* want to save:  /etc /root /usr/local /home


> How  would I  go about reinstalling  the packages  in the
> event of  disaster? What  if my packages  are a combination  of slink,
> potato, etc.?  -chris

Please follow an established quoting convention -- following prior
content is my MO.

This information is contained in /var/lib/dpkg/status.  Each package
which *has* been installed on your system is listed.  The file can be
parsed to identify currently installed files, and versions.  You'd want
to get the appropriate Debs and reinstall if you want to restore a
specific state.

I've never actually had to do this myself, and don't have a script to
handle the process, though I can think of how I'd approach the problem.
In general, I'd think it would be easier to stick to a single release,
and then specify individual diffs from that.  

The easiest reinstall is save the output of:

   dpkg --get-selections 
to a file (which should be included in your backup set), and feed this to

   dpkg --set-selections
...though you'll note that this doesn't specify specific package version

This does allow you to restore your system to a known package set and
configuration + user data.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                    http://www.opensales.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?   Debian GNU/Linux rocks!
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/    K5: http://www.kuro5hin.org
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