The officially official Devuan Forum!

You are not logged in.

#1 2021-03-11 14:51:30

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

[SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

Back in the mid-90s, when I was just starting out with Linux, I used to experiment a lot and mess it all up.

Not knowing any other options at the time, I did A LOT of complete re-installng and re-configuring.

Over time, I messed up fewer and fewer things, so I didn't need to re-install very often.

By the time I didn't need them,  I think there were several tools that would allow you to make a bootable installation CD that contained all of your distro, software, and settings, so that you could easily restore it all if necessary.

I  could sure use something like that now.

Now, I'm running the most perfect (for me) installation I've ever installed, of Beowulf 3.1.0, fully updated and configured.

I would hate to have to try to re-create it all from a fresh install, all over again.

Currently, what's the best tool that would let me easily backup my entire running system, for the purpose of easily restoring it all exactly in the future, if necessary?

I'm talking about both my / and /home partitions, along with installed software, configs, panel items, etc. (Not my personal data and documents - I've always stored my user data to a separate partition, and then backed it up to external drives, using rsync)

Thank you for your suggestions!

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-11 15:19:38)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#2 2021-03-11 15:00:43

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 367  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I created a thread on this recently. I would recommend learning to use the program fsarchiver. https://www.fsarchiver.org/

Here is the thread.
http://dev1galaxy.org/viewtopic.php?id=4173

There is also refractasnapshot and refractainstaller, which are nice tools for creating an iso snapshot you can then use refractainstaller to reinstall the system with most if not all settings and customization's persistent. Both of these are maintained by fsmithred i believe and are in the devuan repos.

Last edited by dice (2021-03-11 15:05:52)


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.

Offline

#3 2021-03-11 15:27:00

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

Thank you very much! I don't think (after suffering 2 strokes) that I still have the concentration/personal memory, etc. that it would take for me to use anything other than some kind of dumb, point-and-click software (if that kind of thing even exists), but I will go through the entire thread to which you linked me, and see if I find anything that I think I could do. Thanks, again -- to me, that thread contains valuable information!  wink


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#4 2021-03-11 15:59:56

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 367  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

fsarchiver is fairly simple if you have good understanding of the terminal commands. If you have accessibility issues due to stroke maybe another backup method is worth looking into. I can help you with this if you need more info, just not sure of your situation.

Last edited by dice (2021-03-11 16:02:44)


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.

Offline

#5 2021-03-11 16:57:50

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 83  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

you could try refractasnapshot or refractasnapshot-gui
it is already be installed by default

Greetings

Offline

#6 2021-03-11 18:26:32

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

Thank you! I will give the gui version a look, and then look at the CLI version if I think I can!  wink


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#7 2021-03-11 20:05:09

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I hesitate to declare victory, because I've never seen or used refractasnapshot-gui before today, but, as far as I can fell, I was successful. I copied the .iso that it created -- which was in /home/snapshot/ to my Ventoy USB drive, then shut down. I started with the Ventoy drive in place, and it gave me 2 menu choices:

1. Beowulf 3.1.0 server (which I had used when I originally installed Beowulf)
2. Devuan Beowulf (the RefractaSnapshot that I had just created of my running system)

When I chose the second menu choice, I was shown several different installation choices (I don't remember what they were. I quit without choosing any of them.

Does that sound like what's supposed to happen -- no LIVE image, but the option to RE-INSTALL my current system, exactly the way that it was installed and configured when I used RefractaSnapshot to create that .iso?

If so, that was so fast and simple that even a guy like me, with a brain the size of a golfball, could do it!  wink

<update>Many, many thanks to all of you, especially to dice, for your very kind offer of help, and fsmithred (If you are, indeed the person who created the fantastic RefractaSnapshot-gui software that I used).</update>

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-11 20:51:22)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#8 2021-03-11 23:54:38

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 83  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

ComputerBob wrote:

Does that sound like what's supposed to happen -- no LIVE image, but the option to RE-INSTALL my current system, exactly the way that it was installed and configured when I used RefractaSnapshot to create that .iso?

you can boot the live environment and from there you can install with refractainstaller-gui or refractainstaller

Offline

#9 2021-03-12 01:29:58

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,846  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

ComputerBob wrote:

When I chose the second menu choice, I was shown several different installation choices (I don't remember what they were. I quit without choosing any of them.

Does that sound like what's supposed to happen -- no LIVE image, but the option to RE-INSTALL my current system, exactly the way that it was installed and configured when I used RefractaSnapshot to create that .iso?

I've never used ventoy, so I'm not sure how it arranges things. If it lets you boot live-isos that are on the usb, then I would guess that the first thing you'd see would be the refractasnapshot boot menu, which is just an isolinux boot menu. It lists several different boot options. It does not list any install options. So I'm not sure where you were.

It's an isohybrid image, so you could directly image a spare usb stick with it and boot the live system.

The iso you made with refractasnapshot should be an exact copy of the system that made it, with a few things excluded so it will boot properly and also to remove some private stuff. And you should be able to install it from a live-usb or live-cd/dvd.

And yes, it should work the first time without knowing what you're doing, as long as you don't ask it to copy your whole music and video collection. If you look under the hood, you can modify it to do things differently.

Offline

#10 2021-03-12 01:30:57

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

alphalpha wrote:
ComputerBob wrote:

Does that sound like what's supposed to happen -- no LIVE image, but the option to RE-INSTALL my current system, exactly the way that it was installed and configured when I used RefractaSnapshot to create that .iso?

you can boot the live environment and from there you can install with refractainstaller-gui or refractainstaller

Am I understanding you correctly? I think what you are saying is that I could boot into my current, installed system (live environment?), and then use refractainstaller-gui or refractainstaller to  to install the .iso file that's still in /home/snapshot/ to a different drive or partition?

At this point, I only want  -- IF EVER NECESSARY -- to be able to boot my Ventoy USB device, and install the .iso that Refracta-Snapshot created of my running system -- which I already copied ti that Ventoy USB device, to restore my system to exactly the system that I had used Refracta-Snapshot to backup.

Are you saying that I will need to use a version of Refracta-Installer to restore my configured, running system, if I ever "mess it up?"

I'm sorry that I'm confused about that issue. My intelligence seems to come and go, however it pleases.

Thank you for your knowledge and patience.   wink


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#11 2021-03-12 02:52:43

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I thought it was all working OK, but I just shut down my PC and booted from my Ventoy USB drive.

Apparently, Ventoy works the way that you suspected, fsmithred. In Ventoy, I first chose "snapshot_20210311_1253.iso", to select my iso snapshot.

That caused a second "LIVE" menu to appear, in which the first (default) of several entries automatically starting before I could read all of the other choices.

Several (~30?) boot-up lines scrolled down the screen, quickly, but eventually began to appear several seconds apart.

The last few lines that appeared said:

Begin: running /scripts/live-pre(something I don''t remember)... done
random: fast-init done
random: crng init done
random: 4 urandom warning(s) missed due to rate limiting

Underneath that, a flashing underscore prompt appeared, and nothing further happened.

After waiting for 2 minutes, I manually shut my PC's power off, removed the Ventoy USB drive, and successfully booted back into my hard drive's installed Beowulf system.

Maybe instead of using Ventoy to start it, my RefractaSnapshot it would work as expected if, as was hinted, I simply copy that iso file directly to an empty, formatted USB drive?


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#12 2021-03-12 03:04:08

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,846  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

You don't want to copy the iso to a formatted partition. You need to copy the file directly to the device. If the usb is /dev/sdb, then one way to do it is cat snapshot-whatever.iso > /dev/sdb

This will overwrite anything that was on the usb, so using an empty one is good.

Offline

#13 2021-03-12 03:24:35

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

fsmithred wrote:

You don't want to copy the iso to a formatted partition. You need to copy the file directly to the device. If the usb is /dev/sdb, then one way to do it is cat snapshot-whatever.iso > /dev/sdb

This will overwrite anything that was on the usb, so using an empty one is good.


Great! I will try to do that! Thank you, again!


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#14 2021-03-12 03:35:07

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

OK, my USB device is /dev/sdb, so I am currently running the command

cat /home/snapshot/snapshot-20210311_1353.iso> /dev/sdb

My USB drive appears to be active, but I see no indication on my PC's terminal screen, that anything is happening.
It's been a few minutes, with no command prompt in my PC's terminal screen. I hope that soon, my PC's terminal screen will go back to a command prompt, and the copying process will be done.


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#15 2021-03-12 04:09:20

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I must still be doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what.

Thank you so much, everyone, but I'm too tired to think about this any more tonight. I can feel that I may be on the verge of doing something majorly stupid, without even realizing it.   sad

Just as I had hoped, copying the iso to the unpartitioned USB drive appeared to work. The command prompt eventually returned, and the USB drive stopped indicating any activity.

Viewing the USB drive's contents afterward, showed 3 folders, all symlinks. I didn't explore any further.

I shut down my computer, and booted with the USB drive in place.

The "Live Menu" appeared - I chose the first (default) item on the menu, to run a live session.

Many, many commands flew onto the screen, just like a normal Linux boot-up looks.

But after waiting for some time, without any new boot-up commands appearing, the following message appeared:

BOOT FAILED!
This Live System Image failed to boot.

Please file a bug against the 'live-boot' package (more description)...
(4 more lines of information)

Then the following message appeared:

The error message was
Unable to find a medium containing a live file system

(initramfs) _

ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#16 2021-03-12 04:25:32

golinux
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 2,171  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

There is a typo in there.  You omitted a space:

.iso> /dev/sdb

should be

.iso > /dev/sdb

That may or may not fix things but give it a try.

Offline

#17 2021-03-12 13:55:41

dice
Member
Registered: 2020-11-22
Posts: 367  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I can confirm i am having the same issue as computer bob, it seems something has gone wrong due to an update with either refractasnapshot or the tools used with it ? I get the exact same messages computer bob posted.

I copy to disk using dd this way.

# dd if=snapshot.iso of=/dev/sdb status=progress oflag=sync bs=4M

It gets to the live usb refracta menu but fails to boot and goes to fallback initramfs. So my guess is maybe something has changed in live-boot-initramfs-tools ?

Last edited by dice (2021-03-12 14:05:20)


Do good things.  Share.  Be helpful.  Be decent.  Live large.

Offline

#18 2021-03-12 15:29:14

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I looked at the contents of my USB drive some more. ALL of the contents of that drive appear to me to be symlinks -- is that what they're supposed to be, or should they be regular links to files that are actually stored on that drive itself?

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-12 16:10:21)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#19 2021-03-12 16:31:14

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,846  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I just made a snapshot today and it boots in qemu as well as on usb. Check the error log - /var/log/refractasnapshot.log Look for errors around 'initrd' and around the end of the log.

If you look at the mounted usb from another system, you should see real directories: live, isolinux, and maybe boot and efi. There should also be one with the package list. No symlinks. This is also what you would see if you mounted the iso.

The live directory should contain vmlinuz, initrd.img and filesystem.squashfs.

I'm curious - what symlinks are you seeing?

Offline

#20 2021-03-12 16:44:16

alphalpha
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2018-01-23
Posts: 83  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

you could check if your iso boots in a virtual machine, to get the usb stick out of the equation

sudo apt install qemu-system-x86
sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -m 2560 --drive format=raw,file=/home/snapshot/snapshot-20210311_1353.iso

Last edited by alphalpha (2021-03-12 16:45:08)

Offline

#21 2021-03-12 16:49:08

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

I must have done something wrong.

When looking at my USB drive in Thunar, running on my hard drive -installed Beowulf, I see all symlinks on my USB drive. I will try to attach screenshots of all 3 symlinked folders, their contents, and the Properties of a few of the files that are inside those folders...

I don't know how to attach those screenshots to this message, but the two files on my USB drive that I viewed the Properties of,

boot.ini symlinks to
/media/computerbob/liveiso/isolinux

and

package_list symlinks to
/media/computerbob/liveiso/pkglist_snapshot-20210311_1353

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-12 17:02:04)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#22 2021-03-12 17:03:54

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

alphalpha wrote:

you could check if your iso boots in a virtual machine, to get the usb stick out of the equation

sudo apt install qemu-system-x86
sudo qemu-system-x86_64 -m 2560 --drive format=raw,file=/home/snapshot/snapshot-20210311_1353.iso

Maybe someone could do that, but I can't. But thank you for thinking about it, and for making your suggestion.


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#23 2021-03-12 17:53:50

fsmithred
Administrator
Registered: 2016-11-25
Posts: 1,846  

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

ComputerBob wrote:

boot.ini symlinks to
/media/computerbob/liveiso/isolinux

and

package_list symlinks to
/media/computerbob/liveiso/20210311_1353


This is the mountpoint for the usb:
/media/computerbob/

The volume label on the iso file is liveiso, so that's the usb stick, and the symlinks point to two directories on that usb.
liveiso/isolinux
liveiso/pkglist_snapshot-20210311_1353

So where are the symlinks? If they are on the usb, then

ls /media/computerbob/liveiso

should list

boot.ini isolinux live package_list pkglist_snapshot-20210311_1353

I'm guessing this is the ventoy usb and not the isohybrid usb. boot.ini sounds like a windows thing.

Offline

#24 2021-03-12 18:28:34

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

This is not my Ventoy USB stick. This is a different USB stick that I used GParted to completely erase before using.

The symlinks that I mentioned are all on the USB stick itself. In Thunar, running on my actual HD, I don't see ANY actual files on that stick.

ls /media/computerbob/liveiso

lists the following

isolinux  live  pkglist_snapshot-20210311_1353

It's probably something I missed, way back at the beginning somewhere...

I'M GOING TO COMPLETELY ERASE MY USB STICK, AND TRY AGAIN...

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-12 19:15:10)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

#25 2021-03-12 19:12:57

ComputerBob
Member
From: The Sunshine State
Registered: 2018-10-11
Posts: 62  
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Backup entire installed Beowulf w/software + configs + /home?

Two different times, as advised (I think), I reset my USB stick to be completely unallocated space.

Then I used the command

cat /home/snapshot/snapshot-20210311_1353.iso > /dev/sdb

to copy the RefractaSnapshot-created iso to my USB stick.

Then I rebooted to the USB stick.

Both times resulted in exactly the same outcome:

1. No more activity seen after:

random: crng init done

2. No prompt, just a flashing underscore cursor for a few minutes.
3. "BOOT FAILED" message, exactly as described above, with same reason listed above.

If it's working for others, but not working for me, I must somehow be the problem...

Last edited by ComputerBob (2021-03-12 19:18:31)


ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic (TM)
ComputerBob.com - Nearly 6,000 Posts and 22 Million Views
My Ministry- My Massive Stroke
Your Life Matters

Offline

Board footer