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Author Topic: Any way to "archive and install" with Linux?  (Read 1195 times)
DrCR
Vectorite
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Posts: 166


« on: November 02, 2008, 04:49:33 pm »

I know with OSX there's a way to reinstall the vital OS bits, but preserve all the preferences, user settings, etc al. Is there a way to do this with Linux? I wacked out my VL5.1.1SOHO install. Got to tinkering a little too much with it. Grin

 - One option I've thought of is to install another instance of the particular distro on another partition and then copy over the files from the old home directory to the new install instance (e.g. the ".blah" files).

 - Another is to reinstall all the packages, pointing to a -o loop mount of the distro iso for maximum speed, and then if need be doing the same for any packages not on the original install iso....If a mirror is even still up for 5.1.1SOHO.


Any thoughts? I'm thinking the later option as not all custom settings are contained in the /home .blah files.

DrCR
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lagagnon
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 1922



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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 05:09:40 pm »

I know with OSX there's a way to reinstall the vital OS bits, but preserve all the preferences, user settings, etc al. Is there a way to do this with Linux?

Well the easiest way is to make sure you have a separate /home partition, then when you do an install you preserve the /home partition (when VL or other distros asks you the partitioning questions during install time). This is what I do when I upgrade my distro. What it doesn't save of course are any additional software stuff you may have added to the "/" partition.

Or go the whole hog and image the whole damn distro after you have it the way you want it. You need a large external hard drive for this and it is really easy - you can use the "dd" command from a Live Linux CD or you can use tools such as PartImage from System Rescue CD or Ultimate Boot CD.
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"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
Masta
Global Moderator
Vectorian
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Posts: 725



« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 05:23:43 pm »

I've done this once , and I think it was with that same version Smiley .
All I did was compress the entire "/" in .rar files. When I needed to, I formatted that "/" and then extracted those .rar files back onto the partition. My lilo wasn't corrupted and I didn't have any issues booting back into recovered OS (so advice on kernel changes, etc. there).

Now there are applications that you can use to backup / recover which will pretty much do what you're asking. Best tip on that I can give is to Google search "Linux backup and recovery".
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Andy Price
Packager
Vectorite
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Posts: 237


« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 06:40:34 am »

The free System RescueCD allows you to boot into Linux from the CD, mount one of your drives and then use partimage to save a compressed image file of your whole / partition to it. If you have a separate /home partition then save to that. Of course it could be errors in the configuration files which are causing the problems, so I guess it would be a good idea to save a copy of those somewhere too. Note to self: make those backups now while your system is running well!
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