My darn NAS...

Well I do reinstall all apps BUT remembering what the config files were called, what changes were made and where they were, is something I prefer to leave for that recovery phase.
In general a well crashed primary disk is an excuse to upgrade everything...
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The Natural Philosopher
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You do know that X-Rays and Gamma rays are essentially the same thing?
They occupy much the same part of the EM spectrum. The distinction often made between them is to do with their means of production. Gamma rays are produced inside the atomic nucleus while X-Rays are created by relaxation of highly excited electrons outside the nucleus.
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Cheers, 
 Daniel.
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Daniel James
Both are ionising, so can cause radiation damage. Gamma rays are much more energetic, however. Stuff like UV, visible light, and whatever 5G uses is not ionising.
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Tim
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TimS
I don't go to much detail, I just don't save stuff in cache directories or in directories named tmp. Doesn't take long and is kept in a file called .rsync-filter which rsync can use automatically.
Having automatic, hourly and daily backups for the past several hours and days saves *a lot* of time! Once set up it takes none of my time at all.
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
I make very sure that all the configuration is either in /home or /etc, most programs do behave properly and keep their configurations in the right place.
Yes, so why would one back up /usr ??
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
Exactly, my backups are like that. Every one of them looks exactly like my normal home directory, just copy the files back as needed.
Yes, again very true, I am just about my only user (possibly 'noddy') but I'm lazy, automatic backups are the only reliable ones!
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
Theres a simple tweak that fixes most of that stuff: move /usr/local to /home local and replace it with a symlink to /home/local
I've done the the equivalent with my (large) PostgreSQL databases and my local Apache- based website (by default these are in /var, so I changed their configurations to put these files in /home too.
Everything continues to work as before but now I've secured almost all of my own work and customisation by backing up /home
The only thing thats not safeguarded now is the contents of /etc, so either back that up along with /home or keep copies of everything in /etc that you've explicitly changed in, say, your normal home login. I do the latter but of course ymmv. Changes in /etc made by software updates don't need backing up because they'll be automatically reapplied when you're rebuilding the failed device that holds your filing system.
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Martin    | martin at 
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Martin Gregorie
So you make it automatic. I backup my wife's laptop with incremental backups, she doesn't have to do anything, any time her laptop is connected to our LAN overnight (quite often) it gets backed up to the NAS in the garage. It works just the same for my systems (desktop, laptop, pi server), they get backed up automatically every night. I'm far to lazy to actually do any backups that require action on my part (and I suspect most people are the same).
Since they're incremental backups they don't eat space very fast, my 8TB NAS disk is only 5% full since moving to it from a 3TB one. The 3TB one was about 5 years old (backups back to 2015) and was 50% full, though that wasn't *all* incremnentals.
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
Gamma rays are shorter waves than x rays.In my book.
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The Natural Philosopher
what about /var that contains all the webs servers and Mysql databases by default? /opt as well has stuff in it. /boot has grub configs
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The Natural Philosopher
I used to back up /var but I don't have any Mysql databases now, partly for this reason, and anyway backing up a database file while the server is running isn't a very good idea. The web server stuff I have symbolically linked to my home directory so it's backed up that way.
I have nothing in /opt, I've checked, if I did I would add it to my backups. I *do* back up /usr/local. /boot configs are generated automatically at installation in general, I've not manually changed them.
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
Because /usr/local and /usr/lib is full of nice stuff like fonts and screensave backgrounds and the like
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Reply to
The Natural Philosopher
I do actually back up /usr/local, as far as I'm aware there's nothing in my /usr/lib that isn't simply a package I can download from the repositories.
I do keep a record of everything that I have installed in addition to a standard basic install of xubuntu, as well as my record I use synaptic which also keeps a history of what has been installed.
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
As I said, I don't need to back up /var because I moved the stuff that defaults to /var that I've explicitly set up (PostgreSQL database, Apache website) into dedicated logins in /home and changed the PostgreSQL and Apache configurations accordingly. Copies of those configuration files are are in my main login directory, which is, of course, in /home and so automatically backed up along with everything else in it. I've never made changes in /opt, so I don't need to back it up: a reinstall will fix it.
Similarly I haven't made any changes to the grub configuration, so don't need to back it up because the Fedora 'install over the net with dnf' will restore that automatically.
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Martin    | martin at 
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Martin Gregorie
The etckeeper package is very useful to keep the changes to config files in a git repo, which can be pushed up to your backup sever on a cron job.
Being git you can put a commit message on any changes, so you know why you had to make the change - very useful for knowing what to change on a fresh system too, or reverting it when no longer needed.
It will also automatically commit the changes from updates making it very easy to solve problems from config files being overwritten by the package manager.
---druck
Reply to
druck
That's the way it should be.
The difference with my dozen or so Pi's is I do the incremental backup to the NAS, not directly onto its filing system, but into an image file which was created from the Pi's SD card. This means that if any of the Pi's SD cards fail, I can just get a card of the same size and write the image file straight back on to it, and be up and running again in minutes.
---druck
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druck
Yes, of course that's true, one reason why I keep more than one incremental backup of my system (and they're on different machines).
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
I don't know whether Time Machine does this or not, or perhaps limits the number of hard links to any file and creates a new complete backup of teh file and starts again.
On my main file machine I've set TM to use a second disk; it alternates between them, so this is some protection.
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Tim
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TimS
That's a rather neat idea, I might get my backup system to do it.
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Chris Green
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Chris Green
Unless you're doing the stop/snapshot/restart thing, you shouldn't back up the files in /var/lib/mysql directory. It'd be better to dump them with mysqldump and back up those files, as mysqldump will only run once there are no transactions in flight (no need to stop/restart the server, either). Restoring from a copy of /var/lib/mysql can leave databases in an inconsistent state.
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Scott Alfter

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