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Confused by Amanda


I use Amanda for daily backups on Stretch. I found it not too difficult 
to set up once I got my head around its virtual tape concept.

Recently, prompted by not very much, I have started to question whether 
having these backups really put me in a position to restore the machine 
if I need to.

I recently messed up some files and decided to resort to the backup to 
recover them. I was able to do so, but the process left me wondering if 
I would really be in a position to do so in all cases. For example, 
Amanda configuration is in /etc/amanda -- what if /etc was what I needed 
to restore? Similarly, I gather there are files under /var/lib/amanda -- 
what happens if /var is damaged?

I have not been able to understand from the Amanda documentation really 
all that I need to have in place to be able to expect to recover from, 
say, a disk replacement after catastrophic failure. I'm imagining, main 
disk goes to data heaven, I buy a new one, install Stretch again fresh, 
and now I want to re-install packages and restore their backed-up 
configuration as well as restore my data in /home etc. I know there are 
a few experienced users of Amanda on this list -- can anyone help me, or 
perhaps point me to a good resource that explains it, or even if there's 
a section in the documentation I've missed that makes it clear?

I guess a key point is, in my configuration, the same machine is both 
Amanda server and Amanda client. I guess I may expand this in the future 
to have this machine manage backups for other machines, but at the 
moment that is not happening. Of course, the disk that houses the Amanda 
virtual tapes is off-machine. 

What I'm looking for is along the lines of "your nightly backup routine 
needs to be run amdump, then rsync this, this and this directory 
somewhere safe" or whatever it is. Or alternatively "don't be an idiot 
you don't need to do any of that, amanda is magic in this, this and this 



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