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Thread: Docs for the yast system backup tool

  1. #1
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    Default Docs for the yast system backup tool

    I can't find any documentation for the backup tool located at Yast --> System --> System backup
    Does any exist? Where?
    I can imagine what's under the bonnet but would like some write-up, even a little bit. maybe it's not maintained, just left there from historical times?

    (yes I have looked in /usr/share/doc/manual/opensuse-startup_en/book.opensuse.startup.html but couldn't see anything relevant)
    ( i have also looked in the Net at ActiveDoc h***://activedoc.opensuse.org/book/opensuse-system-analysis-and-tuning-guide and that seems to be high level meanderings, not too useful for ordinary folk like me)

    This is all it says in Yast:
    System Backup
    This backup tool searches files on your system and creates a backup archive from them. It is a small, easy-to-use backup program. If you need advanced features, such as incremental backup or network backup, you should use an expert tool.
    This dialog shows the list of currently stored backup profiles. A backup profile is used to name a group of different settings, such as the name of an archive and how to search for files.
    You can have a number of profiles, each with a unique name. Using the actions in Profile Management, you can add a new profile based on default values, duplicate an existing profile, change the settings stored in a profile, or delete a profile. Use the Automatic Backup option to configure routine backups of the selected profile.
    Press Create Backup to start the backup using settings stored in the currently selected profile. Press Back Up Manually to use default settings that can be modified before starting the backup process.
    Thanks for info if you know.
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    And this just made my day ROTFL:

    I tried the icon link on the KDE initlal startup Desktop (the hyperlink that looks like a life-save ring they throw into the sea when you fall overboard). It carries firefox to this superb years-old help file, how embarrassing.
    I should tell the devs with a bug report.
    Leap 42.3 & 15.1 &KDE
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    On 2014-06-16 00:16, swerdna wrote:
    >
    > I can't find any documentation for the backup tool located at Yast -->
    > System --> System backup
    > Does any exist? Where?


    doc.opensuse.org?


    > ( i have also looked in the Net at ActiveDoc
    > h***://activedoc.opensuse.org/book/opensuse-system-analysis-and-tuning-guide
    > and that seems to be high level meanderings, not too useful for ordinary
    > folk like me)


    Well, that's the place.

    It is easier to search on the old site:

    http://doc.opensuse.org/documentatio...reference.html

    But no, the tool is not documented, I'm afraid.


    What do you want to know about it?


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)
    Last edited by swerdna; 17-Jun-2014 at 03:08. Reason: mistake

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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    Thanks

    Does it zip up and store the whole of root partition by default, so that unzipping it and putting it back on a pre-formatted partition will then "just work" again?
    And: does it make incremental additions so that the next backup is quick?

    [actually, I'm after a simple targz (or like that) method for backing up the root partition for capturing the moves made by Tumbleweed]
    Leap 42.3 & 15.1 &KDE
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    Quote Originally Posted by swerdna View Post
    [actually, I'm after a simple targz (or like that) method for backing up the root partition for capturing the moves made by Tumbleweed]
    I'm running Tumbleweed on a root partition with btrfs and Snapper (since 12.3). Snapper is supported directly by YaST tools, and documented in openSUSE's Reference manual, Part II. Advanced Administration, Chapter 4. Snapshots/Rollback with Snapper: http://activedoc.opensuse.org/book/o...k-with-snapper

    It may not meet your view of "simple", as there is a learning curve, but nor is it too difficult IMO. It does meet criteria of YaST support and available documentation. Also with Tumbleweed you will be on a newer version of btrfs utilities (btrfsprogs) in line with kernel upgrades, and btrfs has been totally stable here on 12.3 and 13.1. Anyway, it's just another idea to consider.

    PS. Malcolm (and others) is also running it on standard openSUSE, and SLE, so there is help already available on the forum.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    On 2014-06-17 12:16, swerdna wrote:
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Does it zip up and store the whole of root partition by default, so that
    > unzipping it and putting it back on a pre-formatted partition will then
    > "just work" again?


    No.

    > And: does it make incremental additions so that the next backup is
    > quick?


    As far as I remember, no.

    > [actually, I'm after a simple targz (or like that) method for backing up
    > the root partition for capturing the moves made by Tumbleweed]


    Then rsync with "--link-dest". Not compressed, though.
    Then have a look at this list of posibilities:

    amanda
    dar
    rdiff-backup current copy is a mirror; older are rdifss.
    rsnapshot current copy is a mirror; older are hardlinks
    and new files.
    gadmin-rsync?
    http://www.dirvish.org/
    pdumpfs (http://0xcc.net/pdumpfs)
    duplicity
    duply
    Back-In-Time (http://backintime.le-web.org/)
    LuckyBackup
    deja-dup
    dropbox
    duplicity



    I'll try to explain what yast backup does. I studied it years ago, so it
    will have changed, but the basics are the same.

    First it runs a peculiar rpm database query, to find out what files in
    the installed system are different from the ones that came originally in
    the rpms, and creates a list of those files in order to backup only
    those files. The resulting archive is quite small.

    Additionally, it creates an autoyast pattern, that serves to recreate
    the installation using the same settings and list of packages. However,
    this procedure was designed when there was only one repository, so I do
    not know how it does the selection from multiple repos. My guess is that
    it does it badly or not at all.

    To that archive it can add entire trees of files, based on filters. They
    named this "backup files not in rpms", which would backup everything in
    the given paths that did not came from an rpm. This is actually needed
    on all system paths like etc.


    So you see, recovery is complex, and is done in too phases. You have to
    use the installation media, telling it to pull the config from the
    autoyast file instead. This would do a new installation, then it would
    recover those changed or new files from the backup media, hopefully.

    It does not guarantee an exact copy. It is a recreation, not a clone.


    I needed this once, and it was a disaster. I have forgotten the details,
    but I think it was caused by needed configuration files that were not
    listed in any rpm, and thus not backed up. The filter pattern might have
    backed up those, but it wanted to include home, which was large and I
    said "no". The filter pattern has to be thought with care to be of use.

    Including home or data directories is horrible, because this thing
    builds a temporary (compressed?) tree of everything it is going to
    archive somewhere under /tmp, so you need lots of free space.


    A backup done with clonezilla or rsync is way more useful and fast, IMHO.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)

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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    I opted for rsync. It's in service.

    Thanks
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    Quote Originally Posted by swerdna View Post
    It's in service.
    Meaning what exactly e.g. included in distro, maintained, etc?
    Leap 42.3 (ext4, KDE Plasma 5.8.7) ~ stable
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    Quote Originally Posted by consused View Post
    Meaning what exactly e.g. included in distro, maintained, etc?
    Oops, I think I misread your meaning.

    Anyway it would still be interesting to know what, apart from speed, mainly influenced your choice of rsync?
    Leap 42.3 (ext4, KDE Plasma 5.8.7) ~ stable
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Docs for the yast system backup tool

    On 2014-06-19 16:26, consused wrote:

    > Anyway it would still be interesting to know what, apart from speed,
    > mainly influenced your choice of rsync?


    It is not the faster possibility, but it is very reliable.

    For example, if the partition is xfs, then xfsdump or xfs_copy are very
    fast. The first one copies files, the second one does an image copy.

    On normal partitions, a full backup with dd is often faster than rsync,
    specially if many small files are involved. If it is the second time you
    do the rsync, meaning you only need changes, then rsync is faster.


    For full backups, clonezilla is a good idea; after you got one, you can
    do incremental backups of data or changed files. That is, a mixed
    strategy. Clonezilla can be used to recover "bare bones" fast, and then
    you ad changes from the rsync backup.

    However, rsync can not know what files were included in the conezilla
    image, so it will backup everything as well.


    The answer is not simple...

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" at Telcontar)

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