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Re: moving /var

On Wed, Dec 20, 2006 at 01:41:11PM -0500, Greg Folkert wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-12-20 at 14:36 +0000, richard@the-place.net wrote:
> > I recently tried to move /var to a new partition.  Booted from some
> > live cd, moved it and edited /etc/fstab to suit.  Broke the machine
> > as it wouldn't boot afterwards (in fact I recollect it booted but with
> > no keyboard.  Anyway it was unusable.) I thought it might be an initrd
> > problem, and had a half-baked memory that chrooting into the root
> > partition and running makeinitrd or somesuch would solve it. But as
> > usual I got errors from nonexistant /dev and /proc filesystems in the
> > chroot and so could not build a new initrd.  So I copied /dev back
> > where it came from and reverted fstab and all was well.
> >
> > I might have been more persistent but had a slow (and expensive) i'net
> > connection so it was easier to give up.
> >
> > What should I have done?
> I have done it many times from LiveCD, also from Single user mode. I had
> to turn off some logging and other things even in single user mode.
> Effectively you have to make sure you get everything. If you are running
> Ubuntu there are additional items you need to make sure are taken care
> of. (Make sure /var/run and /var/lock are on the root partition for
> tmpfs filesystems)
> But like I said, I have done it multiple times... heck even once
> accidentally reformatted the /var filesystem AND deleted all backups
> before the retore, having to recreate it from scratch on the new
> filesystem.
> So, what did you do to move it? (list of commands used, would be good)

Hmm, it's a couple of weeks ago now.  I usually use cp -a for things
like this and then rename the directory and make a new one to mount to,
but in this case I think I used mv.  I don't think there are any critical
symlinks. The old /var directory was definitely empty after the move,
because I checked.  Anyway cp -a back again put everything into place
and the system booted as normal afterwards.

The implication of your comments is that you don't think there was any
problem with initrd. In fact, I am sure I have done this before with no
problems.  I was surprised when there was a problem.  I did also move
/usr (to another partition) which was of course trouble-free.  Perhaps I
shall try again when I get back to that box ( am in the wrong country at
the moment).

Really, I asked two questions mixed up together.  The other is how to
run makeinitrd, or anything else such as lilo or grub-install (or
whatever the command is) in a chroot, when chrooting cuts you off from
the /dev and /proc filesystems so that none of these commands will run.


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