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Thread: backing up system and creating bootable iso

  1. #1
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    backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Hi

    I would like to back up my ubuntu system to a dvd and have that dvd be bootable. Is this possible? Now that I've gotten a number of things to work, I would also like to backup my home directory and my /var/cache/apt/archives directory to get any new system up to the same as the one I have. Does this make sense?

    Thanks...

    Mike

  2. #2
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Quote Originally Posted by msousa View Post
    Hi

    I would like to back up my ubuntu system to a dvd and have that dvd be bootable. Is this possible? Now that I've gotten a number of things to work, I would also like to backup my home directory and my /var/cache/apt/archives directory to get any new system up to the same as the one I have. Does this make sense?

    Thanks...

    Mike
    There used to be a tool to remaster a current dist for Ubuntu. Haven't seen much talk about it the last 2+ yrs. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/LiveCDCustomization is all that I found with google.

    As to backing up a system and being able to restore it to exactly a specific point, I do that nightly using rdiff-backup. Takes about 3 minutes per server (depending on what has changed, obviously). I do NOT backup large media files. This is close to how I do it: http://www.jdpfu.com/2009/10/24/linu...h-rdiff-backup though I have made it more efficient and do it more like this: http://blog.jdpfu.com/2011/10/08/opt...rtual-machines now.

    There is a big difference in knowing you have a good backup with everything necessary and thinking you might have a backup with most of the files needed. Big difference.

  3. #3
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Another thought Msousa, backing up data so that it is easily accessible by any system.

    On my home network, I have an old tower with Ubuntu 12.04 Server edition installed. It is a FTP file server that I access using FileZilla. On the file server, I loaded vsftpd; and on my notebook, I installed FileZilla.

    If something goes wrong on my notebook, I can do a fresh install of a Linux distro and restore data from my server in one to two hours. If my notebook hardware becomes toast - still have my data backed up - for new hardware.

    I am cruising along no worries, with Ubuntu 12.04 Server Edition - as FTP file server, and Ubuntu Unity 12.04LTS on my notebook

  4. #4
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    I find backintime good for backups but it's not very good for a full system restore, it doesn't do the SUID which is odd. I've only tried once, but I use it each time to restore my home and /etc/configs after a reinstall

  5. #5
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Thanks for the info. There seems to be no preferred way to backup linux systems, maybe because there are so many different media to backup to and so many different things to backup. I do not have another server or pc to backup to so my plan is to backup my ubuntu system to a dvd that I can then reboot from if needed. Then, because I've spent so much time getting some items to work (bemicro/de2, arduino/ardupilot mega and beagleboard, etc) I'd like to backup some of the items I think would make it easier to recover if needed, also onto a dvd. With writeable dvds, I was hoping to do incremental backups every once in awhile as I get other things to work. I'm also under the impression that my home directory and my /var/cache/apt/archives directory contains most of what I've changed to make things work. Am I off track?

  6. #6
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Quote Originally Posted by BBQdave View Post
    Another thought Msousa, backing up data so that it is easily accessible by any system.

    On my home network, I have an old tower with Ubuntu 12.04 Server edition installed. It is a FTP file server that I access using FileZilla. On the file server, I loaded vsftpd; and on my notebook, I installed FileZilla.

    If something goes wrong on my notebook, I can do a fresh install of a Linux distro and restore data from my server in one to two hours. If my notebook hardware becomes toast - still have my data backed up - for new hardware.

    I am cruising along no worries, with Ubuntu 12.04 Server Edition - as FTP file server, and Ubuntu Unity 12.04LTS on my notebook
    Almost nobody should be using FTP anymore. http://blog.jdpfu.com/2011/07/10/why...stop-using-ftp The 3 most popular FTP servers have all been found with backdoors over the last 3-5 yrs - and that is just 1 reason. There are many more reasons NOT to use FTP.

    2 hours for a restore seems long? With good backups, it should be under 30 minutes for 20G or so. That should get the OS, apps and most HOME dirs back. Heck, my main desktop is ...
    Code:
    $ df -h
    Filesystem        Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/vda1          14G   11G  2.4G  81% /
    just 14G. Two yrs ago, it was 10G. Clearly, I keep large files outside the desktop.

    With rdiff-backup as the tool, here's my backup stats for this machine:
    Code:
    $ sudo rdiff-backup --list-increment-sizes lubuntu
            Time                       Size        Cumulative size
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wed Aug 14 02:03:07 2013         4.95 GB           4.95 GB   (current mirror)
    Tue Aug 13 02:03:06 2013         10.2 MB           4.96 GB
    Mon Aug 12 02:03:06 2013         9.34 MB           4.97 GB
    Sun Aug 11 02:03:09 2013         9.71 MB           4.98 GB
    Sat Aug 10 02:03:08 2013         9.25 MB           4.98 GB
    .
    .
    .
    Thu Jul 18 02:03:06 2013         9.31 MB           5.33 GB
    Wed Jul 17 02:03:06 2013         18.9 MB           5.35 GB
    Tue Jul 16 02:03:05 2013         9.78 MB           5.36 GB
    Notice how small each incremental backup is? That's the change data. 4.95G is the mirror for all the files that I backup from last night. 5.36G is the total size of all backups for the last 30 days. That's under 10% more for 30 days of backups. Clearly, I do not backup every file, but I do save everything needed to restore to exactly the same point. dpkg --get-selections for backups and dpkg --set-selections for restores are the tricks for that. Efficient backups rock. Having a local apt-cacher-ng server is great too. Very fast package access that way.

    BTW, just changed the 30 day retention to 60 days to better recover after corrupted files or being hacked. I think I can afford the storage.

  7. #7
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    I do not have a server to backup to, but use another hard drive for regular backups and then copy most important files to DVD on a periodic basis to try to capture images in case I erase or damage a file and rsync to other drive copies damaged file.
    If you do not have another file, a larger flash drive would also work. I have bootable flash dries as a backup way to boot and have the Ubuntu ISO on the flash drive to boot as an installer if need be. Then I can reinstall, and restore from my backups, similar to others posted above.

    discussion of alternatives/strategy backups
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BackupYourSystem
    If you install your own system you are the system admin
    Sysadmins: Everything they told you about backup WAS A LIE
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07...ebod_monomyth/


    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/rsync
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CronHowto
    Oldfred's list of stuff to backup May 2011:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1748541
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  8. #8
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Great stuff there Oldfred.

    I've presented a few times on Linux backups at our LUG. Let me see if I can find a presentation links. Enjoy:
    * Backup Overview - http://blog.jdpfu.com/ALE/ALE-NW/a09_backups.html - Got Backup Religion?
    * Rsync - http://blog.jdpfu.com/ALE/ALE-NW/a05_rsync.html
    * Back-In-Time Snapshots - http://blog.jdpfu.com/ALE/ALE-NW/a08_BIT.html - not really good for system backups - GREAT for personal HOME backups
    * rdiff-backup - http://blog.jdpfu.com/ALE/ALE-NW/a10_rdiff_backup.html - great all around backup tool. Easy replacement for rsync hacks.

    I hope these help someone.

    Someone else presented on Duplicati and Duplicity. Both are amazing tools. That presenter has switched to using rdiff-backup for most backups and only uses duplicity for "sensitive" data backups where he considers pre-encryption to the remote storage mandatory. The only things that I dislike about those tools is that backup set are used and out data is hard to get at without the tool. rdiff-backup doesn't have that issue. Anyone with minimal Linux skills can restore 1 file (or everything) easily without rdiff-backup at all. Normal tools are used.

  9. #9
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    I stopped using compressed tools for backups years ago, only because my floppy disk failed and I lost entire backup even though I knew most of disk could be read. But that was years ago.

    But since drive space is relatively inexpensive nowadays I still prefer just to backup files so if one file is damaged, I may be able to read other files. And I can easily restore one file without other tools to open a compressed image.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair - Updated Mar 2015:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  10. #10
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    Re: backing up system and creating bootable iso

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    I stopped using compressed tools for backups years ago, only because my floppy disk failed and I lost entire backup even though I knew most of disk could be read. But that was years ago.

    But since drive space is relatively inexpensive nowadays I still prefer just to backup files so if one file is damaged, I may be able to read other files. And I can easily restore one file without other tools to open a compressed image.
    I understand completely. The last rdiff-backup set is a mirror - just like rsync creates. It is only the older changes which get diff'ed and gzipped. I find that to be an acceptable amount of complexity vs storage. rsnapshot, rbackup, back-in-time are each based on hardlinks. I found them to be much less efficient on storage to the point that it mattered to me. If I backed up just a single 14G box - no issue, but I have a small issue with VM sprawl and backup everything. Even 4-8G at a time, it adds up.

    I also use optical media for storage of non-changing files that I'd like to keep. For those, I use 10% par2 files to fight bitrot. A simple script:
    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    
    for filename in "$@"; do
    
       # Create a 10% recovery data with blocksize of 300KB
       nice par2 create -s307200 -r10 "$filename"
    
    done
    Of course, it fails if a filename has spaces or certain special characters. A little sed-action could make it "just work", but I'd rather just fix my filenames.

    Combined with gaffitter, which will optimize file placement on specific disk sizes, and I'm able to fill optical discs almost full every time. Just now, some of the discs from 2002 are starting to fail where the parity files really helps - zero data loss. At the 1st sign of trouble, I pull all the data off that disc and reburn - usually with more data since switching to 8G discs happened a few years ago. They are cheaper/GB. I'm at the point where hassle vs cost is a consideration now, so I probably will not purchase anymore DVD media and will only buy 4TB HDDs. In theory, less than 3TB should hold (300) 8G DVDs worth of data. That is a huge savings in hassle - saw a 3TB disk for $111 today. OTOH, having that much data in a single "basket" is scary.

    Well, there is no exact answer for backups. Each of us has to find our own workable solution ... or not.

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