[Nottingham] Live system backup pitfalls / problems

Robert Postill robert at grinning-cat.com
Sun Jan 18 00:08:33 GMT 2004

I do this at work a lot (I work for a disaster recovery firm) and there
four things I'd watch for:
1) Make sure that your boot disk boots your system (I use Linux Bootable
Business Card http://www.lnx-bbc.net quite a lot, the form factor really
is great).  Particularly if you're going to store the tar image on NFS
check that you can bring the network card up on whatever you want to
restore to.  
2) Checksum your image, even if it's a tar image.
3) Try to make sure you get the right files (i.e. /dev is more useful
than you think and /proc is a positive hindrance).  Also think about
hidden file (like ~/.profile).
4) Try and test the image out a couple of times.  Particularly if you
have SCSI/RAID, think about what you have in your initrd, it's a
nightmare trying to get something bootable if your RAID controller has
that "fried onion" smell coming off it :)  GRUB is also more trouble
than LILO to restore so make sure you've got some notes (look on the
Gentoo forums) if you need it.
Hope that helps.
Robert Postill
robert at grinning-cat.com
Tel:07968 801326
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