Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (856 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Reliable way to backup hard drive before clean install
Quoting IEEE alias <jeff.taylor@xxxxxxxx>:
I am planning on a clean install (going from 13.1 to 42.2 Beta) on the root
partition, leaving the home partition alone. I'm not doing complete backups
because of limited space on the backup drive. I've room for a single full
backup, both partitions. What is a reliable way?

"cp -a / /media/LinuxBackup/full" is what occurs to me. Is there a better
way?


Thanks to all who weighed in. Backup may have been misleading. This is a one
time snapshot, archive, whatever. No updates, so rsync's incremental and/or
differential backup space saving isn't needed and won't be used. Rsync has
other features that look useful, e.g. "rsync -x" for each disk partition.
That way /proc and other virtual filesystems won't be copied.

The backup drive has space to do a complete image of the hard drive. However,
I'm going to change partition sizes so that's not desireable.

One person's comment about making a copy of the MBR set me to thinking. The
only scenario where I might need to restore the MBR is if the clean install
goes totally awry. I don't think it likely, but would probably do a clean
install of 13.1 in that case.

An archiver (tar = tape archiver) and a compression utility add complexity and
additional failure modes to no benefit that I can see. This needs to be done
once, correctly, so simplicity is key.

Booting from a Live CD or rescue disk looks like a very good idea.

Moving the dot files in home directories also looks like a good idea. It's
more work to merge them, but avoids sticking with archaic formats. RPM is
good about making copies of system programs, but user configurations are a
crap shoot. I've been bitten by this in the past and had forgotten.

The whole point of this exercise is to not exclude any file. Often some vital
file has moved from where it was being backed up to a directory where it
wasn't. I have backups with every file I think is important, but I thought so
several times in the past and have been proven wrong.

Thanks to all,
Jeffrey

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