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Thread: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

  1. #1

    Default How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Hi,

    I managed to damage my 11.2 installation so it starts in the GUI mode only in failsafe mode. Actually I tried before to repair the installation, using the install DVD, but the automatic repair procedure failed.

    More than that, since then boot loader also seams to be "repaired" so that the Windows installation doesn't appear in the boot menu, but this is another thing.

    For me, now, the fastest way to get a stable system is to make a new installation.

    The biggest problem is that I cannot save/backup the emails and accounts settings in an elegant way. I'm using Thunderbird.

    Of course I would also like to save other apps settings.

    So is there a way to save user application settings so that I can used them after a new install? I had a look to the yast backup tool but these seams to be a way to archive files, or am I wrong?


    thanks,
    Willy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Just back up the entire /home and replay it after the reinstallation - there might be some adjustments necessary concerning user-rights, but basically that's all you have to do. It would be even easier if your /home-Partition is still fully intact, in that case you could re-use it during the installation telling YaST that it should not be formatted (and mountpoint set to /home of course).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    If you have a separate home partition (this is the default in Suse) Just do the full install but at the partition step be sure that the partition containing home is NOT formated. All you personal data and settings are always in your home directory.

    If you want to save the data off to some other disk or device or you don't have a separate hom partition there are numerous program you can use. I like Kdar but it is no longer in the repositories and you need to search for it. darGUI does not seem to work on my machine. For more regular backups you might consider rsync or a rsync front end like luckybackup

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Or you could use a live CD. I like System Rescue..... The advantage of this is you can see what is in your home directory (not forgetting those hidden .* files and directories) before committing to the reinstall process.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Hi,

    I did a new install without formatting the home partition and it worked. Before that I also did a backup with rsync preserving permissions and ownership, nice tool..

    thanks,
    Willy

  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Is there a means to backup your repositories and what applications you've installed?

    This way, if you do a clean install, after you boot in you can run a script or have Yast recover from it and have the applications you installed previously re-installed?

    The advantage of this also includes
    1. You are upgrading from an older openSUSE version to a newer one but want to do a clean install of everything (except maybe your /home directory). You can use this script to run after doign a base install and get the latest/greatest version of the applications you had installed previously (which would then look in your /home directory for your personalized settings)
    2. You can copy this script to other comptuers if you are in, say, a small business environment and you want to install openSUSE on a few systems you can run the script to update the "default" settup on your machines.
    3. If your system crashes and you have to re-install the root portion, you don't have to remember what it is you installed before, or which repositories you had accessed.


    I haven't fooled around with it yet, but I see Ubuntu's Synpatic includes an option to script what has been installed.

    Yast may have something similar, though I don't know what it's called or where it is that does this.
    "Linux provides freedom, problem is most users don't know what it is or how to use it." ~me
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Yast may have something similar [...]
    I don't think so, yet there is a way to backup a list of installed applications an replay it after the reinstall:

    Code:
    ## export list to a .txt-file
    rpm -qa --queryformat '%{name}\n' | grep -v gpg-pubkey | tr '\n' ' ' > apps.txt
    ## replay applications
    zypper in $(cat apps.txt)
    Before replaying them, make sure the same repositories are set up. I recommend updating from the 'update' repository and rebooting (kernel!) before proceeding as shown above.

    This will only work correctly when reinstalling the same SuSE-version, of course.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    rpm -q -a > rpmlist

    will save all rpm installs to rpmlist file

    You could then feed this list into zypper to install/update all the packages

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    gogalthorp, this will fail in case versions have changed meanwhile (most likely).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to save (backup) user application settings and data

    Yep
    The problem is that package versions (the version is in the name) change. This only brings you back to where you started from.

    Maybe a saving and restoring patterns might work to some extent but somethings get installed outside of patterns.

    My feeling is don't worry about it when you need a package and is is not there just install it. We all tend to collect things that need to be cleaned out now and again (like your garage) I approach version changes as spring cleaning. Out with the old in with the new. The exception is servers and such in a commercial situation they need to be restored to original functionality and in most part should not have superfluous stuff installed. But in that case you would never install a new OS on a sever without testing it and defining your packages needed anyway, would you?

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