[CentOS] Linux backup help
Philip.R.Schaffner at NASA.gov
Mon Nov 10 21:57:17 UTC 2008
Kevin Kempter wrote:
> Hi All;
> I'm awaiting a new linux laptop that will be my primary work machine. I want
> to implement a strategy that allows me as easily as possible to revert back
> to a former state. My primary concern is a scenario where I apply system
> updates and it breaks something that for me is critical.
> I wonder if a simple rsync script would work. If so, here's what I'm thinking:
> 1) updates are available so I execute the rsync script which pulls any updated
> files from my laptop to a backup server/drive
> 2) apply updates
> 3) if something breaks (even if I can no longer login) I boot the laptop, run
> the rsync script in the opposite direction (push files from the backup drive
> to the laptop)
> I assume that if I were to execute step 3 above that my system would be in the
> exact state that it was before I ran the updates. Is this a correct
> assumption ?
Depends in part on the rsync commands, the file structure, and the order
of operations. Restoring over a running system would overwrite files
that are in use, particularly in /etc and /var - not a good idea.
Restoring from a backup of a live system would restore copies of files
that might have been in the process of being changed. Would be safer to
do this using a live CD for both the backup and the restore. Would want
to do the backup/restore on a per-filesystem basis. Assuming you have /
/boot and /home:
rsync --archive --delete --hard-links --one-file-system / /backup/laptop/
rsync --archive --delete --hard-links --one-file-system /boot/
rsync --archive --delete --hard-links --one-file-system /home/
On restore would need to mount and restore / first, then mount other
partitions and restore them.
> Are there better approaches ?
Perhaps using other backup tools (backuppc has been mentioned favorably
recently), but it should be workable; however, this sounds like a
time/labor-intensive approach every time there are updates, for a low
probability of fatal problems with the OS. Just backing up user files
would be a lot faster and easier.
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