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

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).

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

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.

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

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.

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:

## export list to a .txt-file
rpm -qa --queryformat '%{name}
' | grep -v gpg-pubkey | tr '
' ' ' > 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.

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

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

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?

So nothing would create a script like “yum install <app1>,<app2>,<app3>” without the version number?

Um… I have provided a solution how too feed zypper with the list of installed apps without version numbers. I repeat:

## export list to a .txt-file
rpm -qa --queryformat '%{name}
' | grep -v gpg-pubkey | tr '
' ' ' > apps.txt
## replay applications
zypper in $(cat apps.txt)

The output of the first line (which is exported to the .txt-file) looks like this:

lsscsi libxcrypt smp_utils libopenct1 libzio iptables unzip libtdb1 pinentry perl-libwww-perl gettext-runtime perl-Crypt-SSLeay yast2-slp w3m cyrus-sasl-digestmd5 limal-ca-mgm-perl a2ps module-init-tools grub xorg-x11 mkinitrd libgcj44-jar patterns-openSUSE-kde4_internet cups-drivers libxklavier15 libsensors3 libosip2 libiniparser0 libexiv2-5 libacl-devel xaw3d swig rsync perl-TermReadLine-Gnu ispell fribidi clucene-core LibVNCServer libstdc++44-devel libical-devel yast2-qt-pkg python-cairo libstdc++-devel libenchant1 xorg-x11-libXau-devel git-email openldap2-devel patterns-openSUSE-console graphviz-gnome IlmBase-devel libgcj_bc44 patterns-openSUSE-devel_kernel NetworkManager-openvpn xorg-x11-libxkbfile-devel gimp-help-browser google-gadgets-devel bash readline-doc preload libaudclient2 libopencore-amrnb0 lirc-remotes w32codec-all MilkyTracker ladspa-AMB glibmm2 gnome-libs yast2-ntp-client apparmor-utils awesfx ...]

…and it works, I have done that several times.

Sorry, previously you said

Which led me to believe the version numbers or some other version indicator would be included and that is why you need the same SuSE-version.

No, it’s just that some packages are named differently or might have different dependencies in different SuSE-versions.

The output can’t be run during the (re)installation process, it has to be done afterwards right?