Online book on command-line Linux usage, and Gentoo Linux in particular (Turkish Translation Fork) [I didn't continue]
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<title>Taking Backups</title>
<para>To finalize this book, lets focus on backups and restores. After
all, you don't want to put all that effort in your Linux system, only to
see it vanish with the next power surge or
daughter-spilled-milk-over-my-laptop incident.</para>
<title>Poor Mans' Backup</title>
<para>Not taking any backups is living on the edge. Especially in case of
Gentoo Linux, you don't want to lose all the effort you've put in setting
up your system. A basic, poor man's backup, is nothing more but an
off-line copy of your important files. This can be on a USB stick, an SD
card or a CD/DVD. But what to backup?</para>
<para>The following sections describe a possible set of files and
directories to back up, without resorting to lots and lots of storage
<title>System Settings</title>
<para>First of all, take a copy of your <filename>/etc</filename>
folder. The <filename>/etc</filename> directory contains all system
settings, including your file system table (<filename>fstab</filename>),
Portage-specific settings (<filename>/etc/make.conf</filename>,
<filename>/etc/portage</filename>), service configuration files (in
<filename>/etc/conf.d</filename> and <filename>/etc/env.d</filename>),
... Really, this location is not to be forgotten.</para>
<para>Next, there are a few non-/etc files or directories that you want
to copy as well.</para>
<para><filename>/var/lib/portage/world</filename> is your
world-file, which contains a list of all software you've installed
(well, not their dependencies, but that's not needed anyhow). In
case that you ever need to rebuild your system, this file will tell
you what needs to be installed</para>
<para><filename>/usr/local</filename> contains all non-Portage
installed software and settings. Although you might not have
anything inside that, those of you that do will most likely take a
backup of that as well.</para>
<para><filename>/proc/config.gz</filename> (or
<filename>/usr/src/linux/.config</filename>) is your kernel
configuration. You've probably lost a lot of sweat and oxygen while
setting up your kernel configuration, so you definitely don't want
to lose it</para>
<title>User Settings</title>
<para>Next to the system settings, you'll find that your end user(s) on
your system also have gone through lots of trouble to set up their
system as they want it. End users' configuration settings are stored in
the end users' home directories. There is no single directory for all
configuration settings, so finding which ones to back up and which not
might be difficult. However, one way that works for me (and which
usually doesn't include the end users' personal files) is to backup all
<filename>${HOME}/.??*</filename> files and directories. Most
configuration directories (or files) are hidden files (i.e. starting
with a period).</para>
<title>Sample Script</title>
<para>The following command will make an archive of the above mentioned
<programlisting>~# <command>tar cvzpf /var/tmp/poormanbackup.tar.gz /etc /var/lib/portage/world /usr/local /proc/config.gz /home/*/.??*</command></programlisting>
<para>Again, this is just a poor man's backup, because it is not really
managed, but it is still better than nothing. Make sure you copy the
poormanbackup.tar.gz to a safe(r) place. Note that it will still be
fairly large, because of the end user copy (as it contains lots of
software caches, like your browsers' cache). If you drop the end user
directories (the <filename>/home/*/.??*</filename>) the file is reduced
from many dozens (up to hundreds) of megabytes down to about half a
<para>To restore files, get the file on your system (mount the USB
stick/CD) and extract the file(s) you need. For instance, to extract all
<filename>/etc/portage/*</filename> files:</para>
<programlisting>~# <command>tar xvzpf /media/usb/poormanbackup.tar.gz -C / etc/portage</command></programlisting>
<para>Note the space between <filename>/</filename> and
<title>More Managed Backups</title>
<para>A slightly more complicated, but probably safer method, is to use
tools that provide you with a managed backup solution. Managed means that
you tell them what to backup (although they do propose certain backup
situations) and they take care of the rest, such as repetitive backups, as
well as easy restore activities in case things go wrong.</para>
<para>If you take a look at the packages that Gentoo offers in its
app-backup category, you'll find that there are plenty of them. I can't
tell you which one is better, because that is a personal taste. But I will
provide a few pointers so you can get started.</para>
<title>Backup Ninja</title>
<para>The backupninja application is a tool which is scheduled to run
every night (for instance) and that will read in the configuration
file(s) in /etc/backup.d. Inside this directory, you define what needs
to be backed up, how often, etc. For instance, the same poor man's
backup settings of above would result in a file similar to the
<para>File <filename>/etc/backup.d/20-basic-system.rdiff</filename> to
backup regular files:</para>
<programlisting>when = daily
options = --exclude-special-files
nicelevel = 15
label = myhostname.mydomain
type = local
keep = 60
include = /etc
include = /var/lib/portage/world
include = /usr/local
include = /home/*/.??*
exclude = /home/*/.mozilla/firefox/*.default/Cache
type = local
directory = /var/backups/backupninja</programlisting>
<programlisting>zcat /proc/config.gz &gt; /etc/kernel-config</programlisting>
<para>File <filename>/etc/backup.d/</filename>:</para>
<programlisting>rsync -avug /var/backups/backupninja /media/usb</programlisting>
<para>The result of this is that the kernel configuration file is
generated first (into /etc/kernel-config) after which (incremental)
backups are taken of the presented locations, and stored in
/var/backups/backupninja. Finally, these files are copied (synchronized)
to /media/usb (which might be a USB stick or external disk drive). If
you ever want to store that backup outside of your home (for instance,
at your parents/kids house), detach the USB stick and store it there.
Just make sure another USB stick is attached and mounted for the next
backup cycle.</para>
<title>Bare Metal Recovery</title>
<para>When you want to make sure your system is up and running in no time,
even when the entire system crashed, you need to take bare metal backups
(full system backups) which you can restore quickly. A popular method to
accomplish this is to use imaging software tools.</para>
<para>If you installed Gentoo using the sysresccd CD, then you already
have the tools at your disposal to perform imaging backups. A popular
tool is <emphasis>PartImage</emphasis><indexterm>
</indexterm>, and is available on the sysresccd.</para>
<para>The tool offers a graphical (or curses) based interface, but you
don't need to use that: the tool also supports command-line
<para>An example usage would be the following. Boot from the sysresccd,
and attach USB storage to your system on which you want to back up your
entire system:</para>
<programlisting>~# <command>mount /dev/sdc1 /media/usb</command></programlisting>
<para>Next, take image(s) of your partitions, or take a full disk
backup. Don't worry, PartImage is able to detect when diskspace isn't
used, and will skip those empty blocks. The following takes a full
backup of /dev/sda in blocks of 700Mbyte (in case you ever want to store
the files on CD or DVD):</para>
<programlisting>~# <command>partimage -b -z1 -o V700 save /dev/sda /media/usb/gentoo_full.sda.partimg.gz</command></programlisting>
<para>If you ever need to restore the system, use the following
<programlisting>~# <command>partimage -e restore /dev/sda /media/usb/gentoo_full.sda.partimg.gz.000</command></programlisting>
<title>Stage4/5/... Installation</title>
<para>Specifically for Gentoo, some users have created enhancements on
top of the standard "stage3" installation used by Gentoo Linux. With
stage4 or stage5 installations, the extracted tarball is a lot larger
(it contains almost an entire system) and is accompanied with additional
script(s) that set up or recover the system. These scripts can, for
instance, restore your partition layout, reformat the partitions,
reinstall the bootloader, etc.</para>
<para>You can find references to this installation approach on the
Gentoo Forums. </para>
<para>Compared with the poor man's backup approach described above, this
can be seen as a "entire system poor man's backup", with:</para>
<para>Backup &amp; restore of the master boot record and partition
dd if=/dev/sda of=/media/usb/full-stage-backup/mbr.img bs=512 count=1
sfdisk -d /dev/sda &gt; /media/usb/full-stage-backup/sfdisk.dat
dd if=/media/usb/full-stage-backup/mbr.img of=/dev/sda
sfdisk /dev/sda &lt; /media/usb/full-stage-backup/sfdisk.dat</programlisting>
<para>Restoration of the boot loader</para>
<programlisting>(Restore: command after restoring /boot content)
grub-install --root-directory=/mnt/gentoo/boot /dev/hda</programlisting>
<para>Reformatting of partitions (be carefull here, this is very
error-prone and specific for your system)</para>
mount | grep -v 'dev/mapper' | grep -v 'dev/md' | grep 'type ext' | awk -F' ' '{print "mkfs."$5" "$1}' &gt; /media/usb/full-stage-backup/
<para>I personally prefer imaging software for such large recovery