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how to make a full system backup excluding data and restoring it to a new system

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# 1  
Old 12-09-2010
Question how to make a full system backup excluding data and restoring it to a new system


In order to have a sand box machine that I could use to test some system changes before going to production state, I'd like to duplicate a working system to a virtual one. Ideally, I'd like to manage to do it this way :

- Make a full system backup excluding the user file system (this system is used as mail and file server)

- Being able to send the data directly to the virtual machine by using the network. (no intermediate backup disk) Smilie

Is it possible ? Smilie

Thanks for your help !

# 2  
Old 12-09-2010
We will need to know the operating system as each does it it's own way, e.g. mksysb for AIX, Ignite for HP-UX etc.

Is the user filesystem you allude to /usr ? If so, you will need a good dollop of the content of this to allow the machine to boot. If it is something else (/usr/home, /data etc.) is it on the same disk as the base operating system was installed or in the same volume group?

If not either of these, then a backup that you can use for disaster recovery should ignore it anyway. If it would normally be included, there are usually some exclude flags, but again they are operating system specific.

Write back with a bit more information and I'm sure someone will help.

# 3  
Old 12-09-2010
You're right, I forgot some details. Here there are :

- Linux Debian server 2.6.26-2-amd64
- The users files are stored on a /home folder, itself on a LVM. This folder is on the system startup disk, same partition.

here is a df -v if useful :

/dev/mapper/vg1-root  24738940  11913564  11570492  51% /
tmpfs                  1027488         0   1027488   0% /lib/init/rw
udev                     10240       780      9460   8% /dev
tmpfs                  1027488         0   1027488   0% /dev/shm
/dev/sda1               241116     41850    186818  19% /boot
/dev/mapper/vg1-home 153796644 118100604  27883536  81% /home
/dev/sdb1            156288320 151228576   5059744  97% /mnt/backup

Thank you very much for your help !

# 4  
Old 12-13-2010
Nobody ? I guess this question may sound a bit newbie, but the challenge is that one should find a way to make system image (easy), with exclusions (easy), and without intermediate media (easy), all three at the same time (more difficult ?)


# 5  
Old 12-13-2010
I regret that I cannot answer this for Linux as I'm AIX/HPUX/Solaris/Dynix based.

Standards? We've got lots to choose from when it comes to making a system backup, and each OS variant has it's own.

Can anyone else answer this?
# 6  
Old 12-13-2010
Is it possible ?
I suppose so, look at the way knoppix live CD works, its debian based, and you can install from (and becomes a debian...) so the idea would be to do something similar
# 7  
Old 12-13-2010
Unless both machines have the same hardware configuration, restoring an image of the root file system of one machine on another is probably not going to work well. You probably don't want all the user ids and passwords, and have to change the system name and ip address, etc.
Better to do a fresh install on the test machine, and then transfer the data files on a (regular) basis.

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