I have a pre-backup script that runs

dpkg --get-selections > <hostname>.pkglist

I make sure that this file is backed up. (the script actually gathers the package list plus captures the drive and partition information.) In the event of a rebuild or a cloning of a system, I can build the base system (I'm also going to work on preseed configs for them as time permits), then do

dpkg --set-selections < <hostname>.pkglist
apt-get dselect-upgrade

This will install all of the packages that are available in the list.

As for selecting backup targets, I cherry pick them as needed. For instance, on my wiki, I make sure to get all of the wiki directories (and /var/www), while on my db servers, I have a pre-backup script that dumps the db to /var/backups, and so forth. If crontabs are important to you, then you need to make sure at least /var/spool/cron is included in your backup set.

I admit, it does offer a steeper learning curve with respect to setting up backups, but on the plus side, it also saves disk space by not backing up files that are stock from the repository. Finally, to see where your files are located, you can issue a dpkg -L <pkgname> to get a listing of all the files in that package. Scroll through it and see if there is anything that you should probably back up.

As another poster said, this is probably intermediate to advanced behavior, so if you are not  sure, back up the whole machine.

HTH,
--b

On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 2:15 AM, Boniforti Flavio <flavio@piramide.ch> wrote:
Hello!
 
I know we're about to go a bit OT, but could you please tell me how you eventually would recover to the last running configuration of y Debian server by recovering also the installed packages?
I am now thinking about backing up my /etc only: do you think that would be enough, considering that only squid and iptables are the main softwares used? Of course, I have some tiny tools like webalizer (which involves the use of /var/www) and webmin (which I hope has all its configs in /etc/). Also crontabs are vital for me...
 
Many thanks,
F.


From: B. Alexander [mailto:storm16@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 2:18 AM
To: General list for user discussion,questions and support
Subject: Re: [BackupPC-users] Backing up whole linux system

Hi Flavio,

If I am honest, I only back up critical files on the system (/boot, /lib/modules, /home, /root, /etc, /usr/local, etc) using backuppc, because I can regenerate a Debian base install without packages in about 15 minutes, and with a relatively small package list like is generally on a firewall, I can do an apt-get dselect install from the previous package list in about the same amount of time as a restore. YMMV, of course, but one side benefit is that I get a fresh machine out of the deal.

I've really had pretty good experience with a variety of boxes doing it this way, but it all has to do with your needs.

--b

On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM, Boniforti Flavio <flavio@piramide.ch> wrote:
Hello people.

I need to back up my Debian server, which mainly acts as a gateway (iptables) and proxy (squid). I’d like to back it up in a way that should enable me to recover the whole system onto a new harddisk drive, if the actual one would fail.
Is backupPC right for this purpose, or would it be better to take some sort of “snapshots” with some other software/tool?

Many thanks in advance.


Flavio Boniforti

PIRAMIDE INFORMATICA SAGL
Via Ballerini 21
6600 Locarno
Switzerland
Phone: +41 91 751 68 81
Fax: +41 91 751 69 14
Url: http://www.piramide.ch
E-mail: flavio@piramide.ch--

 

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Start uncovering the many advantages of virtual appliances
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