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Mksysb Equivalent For Linux?

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# 1  
Mksysb Equivalent For Linux?

I have experience with making bootable images of AIX systems using mksysb and wondered if there was some type of equivalent software for Linux. Or perhaps some of the folks here have alternatives or unique ideas for how they are backing up their Linux systems enabling them to recover them as quickly as possible. I am looking to experiment on what some of the best ways to recover the operating systems and data may be.
# 2  
What sense is 'system image' meant in? Does AIX bring the system offline and make an image of the entire hard drive, or is it doing something else?
# 3  
AIX mksysb writes the current kernel and system to tape (may now to cdrom ?), there are several
programms for linux that work the same way. ask google for g4l, ghost4linux etc.

since PC do not support booting from tape you will find no programms but all other types (dvd,cdrom,usb,...)
# 4  
We've been using Storix for about a year. It was created by the guys who created and refined the mksysb code for IBM.

It has a central server which retrieves the data and creates a boot CD. You go to the fresh machine, boot the CD and it automatically negotiates the connection with the central server and rebuilds the system. We use it to do across the 'net OS level backups and create a duplicate system if necessary (such as when you have four web servers and want to add a fifth configured the same; boot the CD, give it the new info and the server's up). It's pretty sweet and as far as I know, we haven't experienced a problem with it.

# 5  
Mksysb for linux

Aix is a unix based os developed by IBM and was originally released in the mid 80s for PC RT. When IBM released the RS/6000 in 1992, it released AIX 3.1 and built in is a mksysb script to do a full rootvg or OS backup. Other volume groups are not touched by this script. It was aimed at scsi tape drives. When booted from tape, the system would be restore rootvg to exactly what it contained when it was backed up. When finished, the system reboots. IBM never supported writing to cd but went directly to dvd. A mksysb can be written to dvd and then booted and restored from dvd. This function would be VERY helpful to linux releases or unix released. What was described earlier is simillar to a product in AIX called Network Install Manager - nim. Using nim, a root user can do a bootable backup to a remote system and then restore from that system. A nim restore is the fastest form of installing AIX and is used by manufacturing to preload systems. Today, at AIX 6.1, nim and mksysb are mature and trusted processes. Non rootvg volume groups are backed up using savevg. savevg is better than tar as it creates logical volumes the correct size and correctly names the mount points and then restores the data. Again, its a mature process. Even open files are backed up with mksysb and savevg although any save to the file after its backed up isn't reflected. A mksysb has 3 components, A boot image, a complete list of files and the actual backup. When the mksysb is taken, it compares what is on the list to what is on the tape in the backup. They must agree. Again, the same for linux would be helpful. I am looking for one for an OS backup of Fedora Core 9 or 10. I believe the linux developers like Red Hat or SUSE or Debian, are best equipped to create such a backup program as they best know their own OS.

Last edited by allanhubbert; 02-21-2009 at 08:49 AM..
# 6  
I should add that AIX uses an interface called smit (System Management Interface Tool) and this interface hides the commands that are developed based on parameters that are chosen. Having said that, many commands can be run from the command line and mksysb is one of them. A simple icon could be easily created to initiate a backup of the OS to a DVD. Since the restored files are exactly the same as the original files, the restored system will behave exactly as original system does. Everything will work as it did before the backup was taken, there is no reconfiguration of any kind needed.
SMIT works in both graphical and terminal or tty mode as long as the terminal is correctly defined to the system.
# 7  
This is the closest and best I can think of

Mondo Rescue - GPL disaster recovery solution

Another option is LVM snapshot for your system/important directories and then tar/pipe them to lzma (faster/better than bzip2). You can write the scripts yourself or search for somebody else's on google.

LVM snapshotting allows you to also capture the logical volumes and only needs the space that the delta data would require. You can back up the snapshot and ensure a consistent state, then destroy the snapshot.

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