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Thread: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

  1. #1
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    Default Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    I am going to be using the holidays to switch over my laptop from 11.1 to 11.2. However, this laptop is mission-critical, and it's been in use for years, so I have everything on it, including all the latest 11.1 updates, stuff from non-opensuse repositories, etc.

    In case of failure, or in case there is a showstopper in 11.2 I have not yet encountered on my home desktop, I need to be able to go back to the original state with as few headaches as possible.

    I'll obviously backup all my data files (/home, /data, etc.), but can anyone recommend a system backup / restore method? I know of:

    HowTo Backup and Restore Images of Partitions...

    And

    YAST's System Backup and Restore tools

    Neither of which I've used in the past.

    For my requirements, I don't care if it takes long to create the backup, but the time it takes to restore and the certainty that my system is restored exactly to where it was are the most important.

    Recommendations?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Good timing. I'm about to embark on a similar task over the holidays and have been wondering the same thing.

    I was planning to clone my laptop hard disk to another spare disk I have of the same size using clonezilla then do a clean installation of 11.2 on my laptop. If things don't go well then hopefully I'll just be able to clone the hard disk back from the clone I previously made.

    If there is a better way, I'd love to hear it.
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    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Honestly I don't hold much regard for backups, except the data backups you have already made, as that is the essential stuff. All the rest is really just applications that need installing. And myself, even after complete format I can have my laptop back to full working form with a couple of hours. The actuall install only takes 20 mins.

    I have heard good reports on Clonezilla
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    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    I looked at Clonezilla. Seems like a good tool to use, but there's no examples on how to backup/restore specific partitions (only whole disks). I'm sure it's possible, but the Backup Restore Images of Hard Disk Drive Partitions has detailed instructions on how to do specific partitions.

    @caf4926: you must be a lucky guy, if you can restore your laptop in a couple of hours. Just running all the system updates takes that long for me. And then I still have to get all the stuff that's not on repositories: VMPlayer, display driver, Websphere, Weblogic, Tomcat, etc. It's not pretty.

    @suse_tpx60s: I think I'm going to run a partition backup with the instructions from swerdna - using the SystemRescue approach. If you use Clonezilla, let me know how that works out.
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    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Trying to find the right words.... I don't want to be too negative on clonezilla.

    It did the job but I still don't like it too much. The documentation leaves very much to be desired. If there is a compression option, don't use it. It's best use is for a backup in case of catastrophic failure on your HD. In this case, a major update, so much will change that you will be better off just using a backup tool for docs etc.

    The update to 11.2 should give you no problems. Restoring docs will be quick but you will probably want to take a fresh look at settings with the upgraded opensuse. That means few settings will carry over. Make it easy on yourself.

    Whatever you pick, test it first, even if you backup only 1 folder. Make sure you can get that folder back.
    Last edited by Prexy; 19-Dec-2009 at 22:18. Reason: addition

  6. #6

    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prexy View Post
    It's best use is for a backup in case of catastrophic failure on your HD. In this case, a major update, so much will change that you will be better off just using a backup tool for docs etc.

    The update to 11.2 should give you no problems. Restoring docs will be quick but you will probably want to take a fresh look at settings with the upgraded opensuse. That means few settings will carry over. Make it easy on yourself.
    Point noted, but the OP's (and mine) intention of the partition / disk backup here is to be able to go back to the original setup if for some reason 11.2 doesn't work out.
    Quote Originally Posted by twelveeighty
    @suse_tpx60s: I think I'm going to run a partition backup with the instructions from swerdna - using the SystemRescue approach. If you use Clonezilla, let me know how that works out.
    I'm just taking a closer look at Clonezilla to make sure I understand what's involved. I'll let you know how I get on.
    I had a brief skim through Swerdna's method and it looked a little complicated.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Quote Originally Posted by twelveeighty View Post
    I looked at Clonezilla. Seems like a good tool to use, but there's no examples on how to backup/restore specific partitions (only whole disks).
    I found this video tutorial of cloning / restoring using clonezilla. It looks fairly straight forward and as you can see in the video there is a clear option to choose between cloning / restoring disks or partitions.

    EDIT: You can always have a little practice in a VM to get a feel for the process.
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    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    I'm still quite satisfied with my custom solution:

    On all my systems I have 2 30GB partitions. One containing the current stable release, one containing a Milestone / RC. As soon as the latest goes stable and has proven to be so, the old stable partition becomes the new "factory". At this very moment my main machine runs 11.2, but the 11.1 install is still there and usable.

    I've been doing this for years now and there have been many moments it was a true joy to be able to go back where I came from.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    I keep daily backups of the whole system for the last 6 days using rsync. This makes it possible to return to a previous state when something has gone wrong. The trick is to use hard links for everything which has not changed, reducing the disk space used. The idea is described here: Heinlein - Professional Linux Support GmbH - Howto: Backups mit rsync (German text). Have a look at the two scripts called backup-rsync and backup-rotate. You may have to adapt them to your needs.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Switching to 11.2, safety first - which backup option?

    Quote Originally Posted by vodoo View Post
    I keep daily backups of the whole system for the last 6 days using rsync. This makes it possible to return to a previous state when something has gone wrong. The trick is to use hard links for everything which has not changed, reducing the disk space used. The idea is described here: Heinlein - Professional Linux Support GmbH - Howto: Backups mit rsync (German text). Have a look at the two scripts called backup-rsync and backup-rotate. You may have to adapt them to your needs.
    I do a similar thing except use Back in Time which is basically a GUI frontend for rsync. I guess a creating rsync scripts would give you more flexibility but BiT does a good job for simple backup.
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