Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3618 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Important system files/folders to back-up
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 11:37:21 -0600
  • Message-id: <498097D1.1080301@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Jay Mistry wrote:
I am new to Linux in general & have just started out with openSUSE
11.1 (dual boot with Windows XP Profnl.)

For Linux, what would be the critical system files that need to be
backed-up (such as /etc/X11/xorg.conf, /boot/grub/menu.lst,
etc/fstab, etc...) ?


In Windows for backup, I use Norton Ghost to make an image of the
system (C:/) partition from time-to-time. Also, a utility called
'ERUNT' that automatically makes a backup copy of the registry each
time Windows is booted.


The answer really depends on the question "What have you configured?"
If you
are just using linux as a desktop, all you really need is your /home partition.
(this will save all your personal data, book marks, desktop configuration,
etc.) If you have specially configured your xorg.conf, then keep a copy. (I do
just in case my monitor info has been lost from sax2). The grub/menu.lst isn't
that important unless you have some custom setup there. Far more useful for
preserving partition information is 'fdisk -l' to save all your partition
information including start and end block information. Just do:

fdisk -l > ${HOSTNAME}-partitions

One area usually overlooked is mail. Not the mail you have downloaded
from a
pop server, but mail on your computer if you receive mail there via smtp. If
so, you need to either backup /var/spool/mail or move all your mail to for your
local computer out of your Inbox into a folder. That way it will be preserved
in /home.

If you have installed a bunch of tarballs, the poke around in
/usr/local and
/usr/local/share to see if you need to save any configuration information from
your custom apps.

If you care about fonts, then backup /usr/share/fonts/truetype and
/usr/local/share/fonts. 11.0 had a ton of fonts, 11.1 did away with a lot of
fonts for some reason.

If you have set up a server, then back up all the configurations for the
services you have configured, ex: /etc/apache2/httpd.conf.local, any server
certificates, bind/named configuration, dhcp, php, pptpd, vsftp, dovecot,
postfix, etc.. You can simply backup the entire /etc, but I wouldn't. There are
subtle changes in configurations to handle new capabilities, etc. between
versions and you wouldn't want to simply dump a 10.2 /etc/sysconfig on 11.1.

Further, if you are simply going to *install* a newer version of
openSuSE 11.0
or newer, then it will not overwrite your /home partition unless you tell it
to. So, if you are going from 10.3 to 11.0, you can simply stuff the 11.0 DVD
in the tray and click install -- just confirm you are NOT formatting /home. (of
Course backup all data you actually need, but you will find you won't need the
backup until your hard drive fails or if you choose 'update' for the install)

That's about all there is to it.

David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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