Yast Backup as a recovery drive?

I was wondering whether it would work, and if it would be worth it, to use the Yast Backup feature and place the system files (everything outside of /home) into a separate partition on the hard drive, like a recovery drive found on most store-bought laptops?

The idea is the system files would be backed up to this “recovery partition” periodically and automatically so can easily restore openSUSE to a working point in case something goes wrong, whether from a re-installation of a minimal openSUSE or a LiveCD. This assumes the /home directory has its own backup location and higher frequency.

One case for this is would be in case I try to upgrade to 12.2 or later and the installation flubs (bad image, doesn’t like system, whatever) then can “easily” restore the system to where it was before the attempt.

  • Does the backup support versions, so if it backs up once a month (or quarter, before update or major installation or whatever), I can choose at which point to restore from? Would not want to restore from a broken point if it takes a while to find the error.
  • Will the Yast backup provide for backing up system files while the system is running? Or should only select directories be backed up (e.g. skip /var and /tmp)?
  • Can the restore be performed from a LiveCD and restored to the partition on the hard drive?
  • Would a partition size of 2x or 3x the current size of the system directories be a good rule of thumb?

Most of “my” files are already backed up in one way or another but the idea of having to re-install openSUSE and remember all the programs I installed is daunting.

I have a separate /data partition (as well as sharing between SLE and
openSUSE) for all important stuff and then just use rsync to push it off
(or fwbackups…it’s in the archives repo)

Create an autoyast file, upload to SUSE Studio and just build an

Else keep a copy of the /var/log/zypp/history file as this has a full
list of installed packages.

For me it’s just quicker to re-install, I run a script that creates
softlinks from the /data/configuration directory to my ~/ directory, eg;

cd ~/
ln -s /data/configuration/bashrc .bashrc
ln -s /data/configuration/xchat2 .xchat2
ln -s /data/configuration/oscar-the-grouch.jpg .face
ln -s /data/Virtual\ Desktops/ Virtual\ Desktops
ln -s /data/VirtualBox\ VMs/ VirtualBox\ VMs
ln -s /data/configuration/Local\ Mail Local\ Mail
ln -s /data/configuration/claws-mail .claws-mail

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 (x86_64) Kernel 3.0.13-0.27-default
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