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Thread: YaST System Backup Question

  1. #1
    TwoHoot NNTP User

    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


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  2. #2
    geoffro NNTP User

    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'
    (http://www.swerdna.net.au/linhowtorescuecd.html)

    /Geoff


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  3. #3
    TwoHoot NNTP User

    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


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  4. #4
    mingus725 NNTP User

    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.


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  5. #5
    TwoHoot NNTP User

    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question


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


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  6. #6
    mingus725 NNTP User

    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question


    TwoHoot;1926374 Wrote:
    > 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.


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  7. #7
    TwoHoot NNTP User

    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


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  8. #8
    mingus725 NNTP User

    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' (http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page)

    'Main Page - Partimage' (http://www.partimage.org/Main_Page)

    'KNOPPIX - Live Linux On CD'
    (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html)


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  9. #9
    TwoHoot NNTP User

    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


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  10. #10
    Prexy NNTP User

    Default Re: YaST System Backup Question


    Coincidentally, 'this page'
    (http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20...03/Backup.html)
    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.


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