Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ubuntu backup and partitioning

In order to be a bit more robust and prepared for disaster, I have put my /home folder in a separate partition. This is easy to do during install. I allocated about 10BG to the main system and made the /home folder the same size. As described earlier, I have several other disks mounted into my /home folder, giving me plenty of storage-space.

The /home folder is home to many user-settings for most programs. I discovered this recently, when Windows XP decided to delete my root-partition. Suddenly, my Ubuntu-install was gone. I had to reinstall Ubuntu 7.04. During install I chose manual setup under the partition step. I just pointed my surviving partition containing my old /home to a new /home (this is easy to see when you install). I made a new partition for the rest (i.e the root) and reinstalled 7.04 on that one. When I booted into my system for the first time after reinstall, allmost everything was back to the way it was earlier (see note). My desktop pictures was there, my bookmarks in Firefox and my folder-structure in the home-folder. As I reinstalled programs, e.g the Liferea feed reader, my old settings returned. Great!

However, there were a few problems. My fstab containing information about my mounted disks was gone. I had to rewrite that one. Also, my screen settings were back to default, so I had to edit xorg.conf again. Both files are kept under the /etc folder, and they died along with the fatal XP-partition wipe I refered to above.

In order not to have to repeat that in the future, I installed sbackup (sudo aptitude install sbackup). The program integrates nicely under System > Administration > Simple Backup Config and Simple Backup Restore. This is a really neat and easy program to use. I just decided which files and folders to include (a suggestion was made). I did not include my home folder, since I have that on a separate partition. I might set up a separate backup for that at some later time. I save the backup-files on a separate drive. You may also save via your network if you wish.

Now, my fstab and xorg.conf and all the other config-files are safer, bith from "accidental" deletion by Win XP and also from my own editing!

Note: Actually, when I tried to log in to my session, X wouldn't start properly, probably since I had been using the nvidia-drivers for my graphics card. The drivers are not a part of the fresh install. In order to fix this, I started a terminal session and installed the graphics driver via the command line:

sudo aptitude install nvidia-glx

1 comment:

Xe Rouge said...

Hello, it is always a good idea to backup the stuff under /etc. Have you taught of using a version control software. It is nice since it keeps track of all your modifications and give you the opportunity to get back to previous setting.

I most familiar with subversion "svn" . If there were not an issue with the way gentoo is managing etc files this is how I would do this.

Fancois form Quebec!