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Thread: YaST System Backup Question

  1. #1
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    Default YaST System Backup Question

    I am getting enough data on my openSUSE 11.0 machine to need to consider backing it up.

    Exactly what does the YaST System Backup save? Will I be able to restore my system (heaven forbid) using it alone or will I need it plus the original installation DVD?

    In other words, is the YaST manual System Backup adequate for most average users or is something more sophisticated recommended?

    The wizard asks for a path to the backup file. Where should I put it? What is standard?

    How do more experienced users handle backups on a desktop machine?

    Cordially,
    TwoHoot

  2. #2
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Yast backup is ok but not great i would put the file on an external disk.
    However our guru swerdna has a more advanced way here

    /Geoff
    Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz, 8GB DDR2, 3.5TB, GeForce 9600 GT, Amilo LCD 26", OS 11.1 x86_64, KDE4.2.4 (2)
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Thank you for the information. For now, I think I will stick to "OK", but I did make a note of the link you provided to investigate later when I am more comfortable with the basics of openSUSE.

    For the time being, my goal is to learn to make full use of the things openSUSE provides out of the box. That learning curve is steep enough to keep my feeble mind occupied for now. Once I get a fully functional machine and am comfortable relying on it for everyday use, then I can start looking for better and best ways to do things.

    Would it be appropriate to provide a path to a USB flash dirve for the manual backup?

    What gets backed up and what does not?

    Can I restore from this backup alone or will I need the installation DVD to get running after a crash?

    Cordially,
    TwoHoot

  4. #4
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    The YaST Backup creates a tar or equiv archive file with the contents of the entire system. Go into the app module and you'll see the options and there is Help documentation with it. I haven't used it, so I can't reply re what kind of filtering it allows; I suspect not much if any.

    As far as a USB drive, yes; appears so if mounted. You'll see a place to indicate where the interim temporary tar files are created, as well as the fully-qualified file name of the tar archive - that would be your USB device. Note that with portable storage SuSE will automatically designate a mount point (I think under /media), and will attempt to re-use that later for the same device. The question is whether what is mounted there will get included in the backup, which you would not want (of course, if the device is empty, not an issue).

    I suggest you open YaST Software Management and search on "backup" adding "description" to the fields searched. You'll see a range of possibilities, from the very simple to industrial-strength. If you add the Packman repository (you probably already have, for multi-media), there is an app named "dargui" which is a gui front-end to the powerful dar utility. This may be much more suitable for what you want to do.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Thank you both for your time and information. It is exactly what I needed.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHoot View Post
    Thank you both for your time and information. It is exactly what I needed.
    You're quite welcome, glad to have been of some help.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    I created my first backup to /home/jch/Backups

    YaST System Backup created two files there: a 252.5 mb Tar Archive and a 670 byte xml Document.

    What is the xml document and if it is needed to restore, why isn't it in the Tar Archive?

    Will I need both to restore?

    Can I just copy these files to a USB drive or CD/DVD and expect them to work from there if I ever need to completely or partially restore the system?

    Sorry to be a pest. These simple basics are probably irritating to advanced users.

    Cordially,
    TwoHoot

  8. #8
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    First, a correction: I played around a bit with the YaST Backup utility, and discovered that you can in fact filter the contents. The utility is setup as a wizard, so you can't see all of what it can do/how it does it without going through the process. I suggest you do that several times as tests; I think most of your questions will be answered that route (there are brief help links on each screen).

    I don't know the answer re the xml file. Again, testing the process may yield the answer, ableit indirectly. A tar has its own archive file index, but there could be reasons to store a catalog of sorts externally. (Windows XP's backup utility does this, for example.)

    To restore, you use the YaST System Restore utility (and that may be where the xml file is utilized). How any backup/restore works (or fails to) is a consequence of its design plus the particular recovery situation. For example, Windows XP's "emergency recovery" requires the machine have a floppy drive and that a recovery control file was written to the floppy as part of the backup. The YaST Restore gui utility is apparently designed for use only when openSUSE can be run (there is a DOS-gui counterpart of every YaST module which can be run from the DVD Rescue System command line; this is an "advanced" use of the system). So, could you restore from external storage or from optical media - yes, if the system is bootable and the partitions can be mounted. Actually, a tar archive can be re-written to a mounted partition from just about any linux bootable CD/DVD. "Bare-metal" recovery (e.g., a replaced hard disk) as a rule requires more sophisticated tools and advanced skills; only the individual user can decide what is best for him/herself. For all these reasons and others, the backup/recovery tools included with an OS (any OS) are always quite basic and definitely have limitations - and this is why there are so many alternatives, free and commercial, using any number of different technologies and techniques. Google will return a huge amount of information. Personally, I like the dar tool (dar-gui is just the grapical interface; the backup files can be accessed via dar directly from the command line). Fundamental to any robust backup/recovery solution is the ability to do so if the OS is inaccessible, and better yet, can even handle broken partitions and associated issues. In Windows-land, this is what the XP Recovery Console or the Vista Recovery Environment (both off the retail CD/DVD) are designed for, although those are limited. So complimenting the backup/recovery solution is independent bootable tools; with linux, you can get a whole OS and a wealth of tools all on one CD or DVD. Here are a few links to look at:

    Main Page - SystemRescueCd

    Main Page - Partimage

    KNOPPIX - Live Linux On CD

  9. #9
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Thank you. With your help, I feel confident that I can just save the Tar Archive to CD and probably get what I need if I crash.

    I opened the xml file. It appears to be some information about keyboard settings (language,layout, num lock, cap lock etc). If this was Windows, I'd think it was part of the registry. I think I'll just ignore it when I move the Tar Archive to permanent optical storage.

    Next on my to-learn list is setting up a HP OfficeJet 7110 printer/scanner/fax and setting up Samba Client to get on my little household Windows peer-to-peer LAN. I'll probably be bugging the people on the Hardware and Network forums instead of the kind people here.

    Cordially,
    TwoHoot
    #1 - openSUSE Leap 42.3; AMD A6-3670; Radeon(tm) HD; 8gb memory; 500 gb HD; KDE 5.8.7
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question

    Coincidentally, this page appeared today. The title is 21 of the best free linux backup software.

    I use Simple Backup Solution which is just a GUI for some linux command line tools. Also of interest is Clonezilla which does a bare-metal restore. I haven't tried that one yet.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. - Arthur C. Clarke

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