Difference between revisions of "User:Gen2ly/System backup and reinstall"

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[[Category: System recovery (English)]]
+
[[Category:System recovery]]
[[Category: HOWTOs (English)]]
+
 
This article is intended to show you how to backup your configurations and your package list, then to do a full system restore, restore packages, and finally restore your configurations..
 
This article is intended to show you how to backup your configurations and your package list, then to do a full system restore, restore packages, and finally restore your configurations..
  
Line 11: Line 10:
 
# You have limited hard disk space and are not capable of doing a full restore from backup.
 
# You have limited hard disk space and are not capable of doing a full restore from backup.
  
{{Tip|If you are a regular computer user, generally it is good practice to backup your primary drive to a backup hard drive after getting your system installed.  Secondary storage disks can be found relatively inexpensively these days and are able to store/restore an entire drive of programs, configurations, documents, etc. in a safe and reliable way.  If you have a hardware setup like this, look at programs like the [http://clonezilla.org/ Clonezilla CD], or the [http://partedmagic.com/ Parted Magic CD] (includes Clonzilla and other tools) which are both open-source and can image your hard drive for later use.}}
+
{{Tip|If you are a regular computer user, generally it is good practice to backup your primary drive to a backup hard drive after getting your system installed.  Secondary storage disks can be found relatively inexpensively these days and are able to store/restore an entire drive of programs, configurations, documents, etc. in a safe and reliable way.  If you have a hardware setup like this, look at programs like the [http://clonezilla.org/ Clonezilla CD], or the [http://partedmagic.com/ Parted Magic CD] (includes Clonzilla and other tools) which are both open-source and can image your hard drive for later restoration.}}
  
 
== Backup ==
 
== Backup ==
  
Using {{Codeline|tar}} and a couple helper scripts can make recording common configurations in just a couple steps.
+
Using {{Ic|tar}} in a script can make archiving configurations get done in just a couple steps.
  
 
=== Include and Exclude Files ===
 
=== Include and Exclude Files ===
Line 30: Line 29:
 
And is invoked like this:
 
And is invoked like this:
  
  tar --files-from=include.txt --exclude-from=exclude.txt -cvpzf backupname.tar.gz
+
  tar --files-from=include.txt --exclude-from=exclude.txt -c --xz -f backupname.tar.xz
  
 
The name of the files can be anything you want.  The exclude file is like the include file but additionally has the ability to be able to use [http://www.regular-expressions.info/ regexps], as well as being able to be commented and have blank lines.
 
The name of the files can be anything you want.  The exclude file is like the include file but additionally has the ability to be able to use [http://www.regular-expressions.info/ regexps], as well as being able to be commented and have blank lines.
  
=== Add to Include and Exclude Files with a Script ===
+
=== Backup Script ===
  
To help add file names, folders... to the include and exclude files a couple bash scripts can be used.  The scripts are named '''bci''' and '''bce''' (backup-config-include and backup-config-exclude) and are invoke like this:
+
This backup script has the ability to add to the include and exclude files and the ability to backup the configurations.  The usage is:
  
<pre>
+
<pre> bckcfg <i|e|n|c> - backup configurations
bca /etc/X11/xorg.conf
+
  i - add to the include list a file or folder
cd /home/user
+
  e - add to the exclude list a file or folder or regexp pattern
bce .thumbnails/
+
  n - add note
</pre>
+
  c - create backup</pre>
  
Both scripts detect the full path so writing a relative or partial path are acceptable.  The program {{Package AUR|realpath}} will be required.  Put them in your script directory and make them executable to add a file anytime you think of it.  Be sure to use your username and edit the location where you put your exclude and include file.
+
For example to add to the include file:
  
<pre>
+
bckcfg i /etc/rc.conf
#!/bin/bash
+
# add files to be excluded in backup
+
  
excludeloc=/home/<user>/.scripts/backup/exclude.txt
+
And to add to the exclude file:
  
# Add file/folder/link to list
+
bckcfg e .thumbnails/
if [[ -z "$@" ]]; then
+
  echo " bce <file/folder/list> - add exclusions to backing up configurations"
+
  else
+
  echo "`realpath -s "$@"`" >> $excludeloc
+
fi
+
</pre>
+
  
<pre>
+
The script is able to detect the full path so writing a relative or partial path is acceptable.
#!/bin/bash
+
# add file/folders to the backup configurations include file
+
  
# Include file location
+
To backup, this script names your backup by several definable variables, removes old backups if desired, then backs up the configurations. The include and exclude files are placed in the same directory as the backup script.
backlsdir="/home/<user>/.bin/root/backup"
+
incfile="$backlsdir/bckcfg-inc.txt"
+
  
# Program name from it's filename
+
{{hc|bckcfg|<pre>#!/bin/bash
prog=${0##*/}
+
# Backup configurations
  
# Text color variables
+
# Backup destination directory
txtund=$(tput sgr 0 1)          # Underline
+
#bckp_dest="/home/todd/Desktop"
txtbld=$(tput bold)            # Bold
+
bckp_dest="/run/media/todd/Backup/backup-configs"
bldred=${txtbld}$(tput setaf 1) #  red
+
bldblu=${txtbld}$(tput setaf 4) #  blue
+
bldwht=${txtbld}$(tput setaf 7) #  white
+
txtrst=$(tput sgr0)            # Reset
+
info=${bldwht}*${txtrst}        # Feedback
+
pass=${bldblu}*${txtrst}
+
warn=${bldred}*${txtrst}
+
 
+
# Display usage if full argument isn't given
+
if [[ -z "$@" ]]; then
+
  echo " $prog <file/folder/link> -  add files/folders/links to backup-cfgs' include file"
+
  exit
+
fi
+
 
+
# Check if folder exists
+
if [ ! -d $backlsdir ]; then
+
  echo "Directory and include file do not exist: $incfile"
+
  echo "Exiting"
+
  exit
+
fi
+
 
+
# Check if file exists
+
if [ ! -f $incfile ]; then
+
  echo "Include file doesn't exist: $incfile"
+
  echo "Exiting"
+
  exit
+
fi
+
 
+
# Check link valid, then add
+
for file in "$@"; do
+
  fullpath=$(realpath -s "$file")
+
  if [ ! -e "$fullpath" ]; then
+
    echo "$warn File ${txtund}$fullpath${txtrst} doesnt exist."
+
    continue
+
  fi
+
  echo "$fullpath" >> "$incfile"
+
  echo "$pass Added ${txtund}$fullpath${txtrst} in backup include file"
+
done
+
 
+
# Sort entries
+
sort -u "$incfile" -o "$incfile"
+
</pre>
+
 
+
=== Backup Script ===
+
 
+
A tar backup script can be built and then be automated to run on a regular basis.  This backup script names your backup by several identifying variables, removes old backups, then backs up your configurations.  Again, be sure to add the location of your include and exclude files as well as your backup directory.
+
 
+
<pre>
+
#!/bin/bash
+
# backup configurations with tar
+
 
+
# Backup destination
+
backdest="/opt/backup"
+
  
 
# Backup name
 
# Backup name
machine=${HOSTNAME}
+
comp="${HOSTNAME}"  # Computer name
distro=arch
+
dist="arch"        # Distro
type=configs
+
type="configs"
date=`date "+%F"`
+
date="$(date "+%F")"
backupfile="$backdest/$distro-$type-$date.tar.gz"
+
bckp_file="$bckp_dest/$comp-$dist-$type-$date.tar.xz"
  
 
# Include and exclude file locations
 
# Include and exclude file locations
prog=${0##*/} # Program name from filename
+
scrpt_dir="/home/todd/.scripts/backup"
bcdir="/home/<user>/.bin/root/backup"
+
incl_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-inc.txt
include_file="$bcdir"/$prog-inc.txt
+
excl_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-exc.txt
exclude_file="$bcdir"/$prog-exc.txt
+
note_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-nte.txt
  
# Text color variables
+
scrp_help () {
txtbld=$(tput bold)             # Bold
+
echo " ${0##*/} <i|e|n|c> - backup configurations
bldred=${txtbld}$(tput setaf 1) #  red
+
  i - add to the include list a file or folder
bldwht=${txtbld}$(tput setaf 7) # white
+
  e - add to the exclude list a file or folder or regexp pattern
txtrst=$(tput sgr0)            # Reset
+
  n - add note
info=${bldwht}*${txtrst}       # Feedback
+
  c - create backup"
warn=${bldred}!${txtrst}
+
}
  
# Verify that the target directory exists.
+
del_old_bckps () {
if [ ! -d $backdest ]; then
+
if [[ -n "$(find "$bckp_dest" -mtime +30)" ]]; then
   echo "$warn Backup directory does not exist, exiting."
+
   find "$bckp_dest" -name "$distro-$type-*" -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \
 +
  \; && echo " Deleted backups older than one month."
 
fi
 
fi
 +
}
  
# Delete backups older than a month
+
case $1 in
if [[ -n "$(find "$backdest" -mtime +30)" ]]; then
+
  # Add to include list file or folder
  echo "$info Deleting backups older than one month..."
+
  i ) shift
   find "$backdest" -name "$distro-$type-*" -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \;
+
      for f in "$@"; do
fi
+
        # Check if selection(s) exist
 
+
        if [ ! -e "$f" ]; then
# Backup
+
          echo " File \""$f"\" does not exist."
tar --exclude-from=$exclude_file --files-from=$include_file -cvpzf \
+
          continue
$backupfile
+
        fi
</pre>
+
        # Append file/folder to include list
 +
        full_path=$(readlink -f "$f")
 +
        echo "$full_path" >> "$incl_file" && \
 +
        echo " Added \""$f"\" to ${0##*/} include file."
 +
      done
 +
      # Sort entries
 +
      sort -u "$incl_file" -o "$incl_file" ;;
 +
  # Add to exclude list file, folder, or regexp pattern
 +
  e ) shift
 +
      echo " * \"${0##*/}\" doesn't check if patch is correct because the exclude file can contain regexps.  Be sure the path is correct (e.g. '/mnt/win/*')" | fmt -c -u -w 80
 +
      read -p " Add \""$@"\" to ${0##*/} exclude file? (y/n): " add_exclude
 +
      if [[ "$add_exclude" == [Yy] ]]; then
 +
        echo "$@" >> "$excl_file" && \
 +
        echo " Added \""$@"\" to ${0##*/} exclude file."
 +
      else
 +
        echo " Error: \""$@"\" not added."
 +
      fi ;;
 +
   # Add to note file
 +
  n ) shift
 +
      echo ""$date"-"$(date "+%r")": "$@"" >> "$note_file" && \
 +
      echo " Added string to \""$note_file"\"." ;;
 +
  # Create backup
 +
  c ) # Check if backup directory exists
 +
      if [ ! -d "$bckp_dest" ]; then
 +
        echo " Directory \""$bckp_dest"\" does not exist."
 +
        exit
 +
      fi
 +
      # Delete old backups
 +
      #del_old_bckps
 +
      # Backup configurations
 +
      sudo tar --exclude-from=$excl_file --files-from=$incl_file -c --xz -f $bckp_file ;;
 +
  * ) # Display usage if no parameters give
 +
      scrp_help ;;
 +
esac</pre>}}
  
 
=== Packages ===
 
=== Packages ===
  
Package lists can be created that can re-install your programs upon a restore.  If you have the hard disk space available, you might also want to consider saving the install packages ({{Filename|*.pkg.tar.gz}}) as well.
+
Package lists can be created that can re-install your programs upon a restore.  If you have the hard disk space available, you might also want to consider saving the install packages ({{ic|*.pkg.tar.gz}}) as well.
  
 
==== Creating a Package List ====
 
==== Creating a Package List ====
Line 173: Line 142:
 
You can create a list of all installed ''official'' packages with:
 
You can create a list of all installed ''official'' packages with:
  
  pacman -Qqet | grep -v "$(pacman -Qqm)" > pkglist-off.txt
+
  pacman -Qqe | grep -v "$(pacman -Qqm)" > pkglist-off.txt
  
 
This will create a list of all packages in the official, enabled [[pacman]] repositories (i.e. core, extra, community and testing).
 
This will create a list of all packages in the official, enabled [[pacman]] repositories (i.e. core, extra, community and testing).
Line 179: Line 148:
 
To create a list of all ''local'' packages (includes packages installed from the [[AUR]]):
 
To create a list of all ''local'' packages (includes packages installed from the [[AUR]]):
  
  pacman -Qqmt > pkglist-loc.txt
+
  pacman -Qqm > pkglist-loc.txt
  
 
==== Saving Package Tarballs ====
 
==== Saving Package Tarballs ====
  
Pacman saves all package tarballs in {{Filename|/var/cache/pacman/pkg/}}.  Saving these will increase your re-install speed so consider saving these as well.  You might want to think about reducing the size of the cache before backing up too.  Pacman has the ability to remove any uninstalled packages from the cache with:
+
Pacman saves all package tarballs in {{ic|/var/cache/pacman/pkg/}}.  Saving these will increase your re-install speed so consider saving these as well.  You might want to think about reducing the size of the cache before backing up too.  Pacman has the ability to remove any uninstalled packages from the cache with:
  
 
  pacman -Sc
 
  pacman -Sc
  
If you use [[Yaourt]] to install packages from the AUR, you might want to consider setting up a cache for it (Yaourt by default does not save the built package tarballs).  To setup a cache directory, edit {{Filename|/etc/yaourtrc}} to include one:
+
===== Yaourt =====
 +
 
 +
If you use [[Yaourt]] to install packages from the AUR, you might want to consider setting up a cache for it (Yaourt by default does not save the built package tarballs).  To setup a cache directory, edit {{ic|/etc/yaourtrc}} to include one:
  
 
   ExportToLocalRepository /var/cache/pacman/pkg-local
 
   ExportToLocalRepository /var/cache/pacman/pkg-local
Line 200: Line 171:
 
=== Storing the Backup ===
 
=== Storing the Backup ===
  
After you have made up your tarred configurations, package lists, and (optionally) your install packages, you are going to need to store them on a seperate medium than your install partition/drive.  Do not put your package lists and install packages in your tarred configurations. This is because all packages must be reinstalled first before you restore your configurations to prevent file conflicts (pacman will not install packages with file conflicts).  If you have large enough USB Flash Drive these work well.  Optionally you can burn them to a CD or use a partition utility like {{Package Official|gparted}} to create an extra partition.  If using CD's you can span large archives by using the [http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Backup_to_DVD split utility].  To create a new partition consider using the [http://partedmagic.com/ Parted Magic CD] which has gparted on it.
+
After you have made up your tarred configurations, package lists, and (optionally) your install packages, you are going to need to store them on a seperate medium than your install partition/drive.  Do not put your package lists and install packages in your tarred configurations. This is because all packages must be reinstalled first before you restore your configurations to prevent file conflicts (pacman will not install packages with file conflicts).  If you have large enough USB Flash Drive these work well.  Optionally you can burn them to a CD or use a partition utility like {{Pkg|gparted}} to create an extra partition.  If using CD's you can span large archives by using the [http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Backup_to_DVD split utility].  To create a new partition consider using the [http://partedmagic.com/ Parted Magic CD] which has gparted on it.
  
 
== Restoring ==
 
== Restoring ==
Line 210: Line 181:
 
# Reinstalling all your packages.
 
# Reinstalling all your packages.
 
# Extracting your configurations.
 
# Extracting your configurations.
# Adding a new user, and expect a few unexpecteds.
+
# Adding a new user.
  
 
=== AIF Install ===
 
=== AIF Install ===
Line 223: Line 194:
 
  mount /dev/<disk-drive-parition> /backup-files
 
  mount /dev/<disk-drive-parition> /backup-files
  
Your Arch install will already be mounted on {{Filename|/mnt}} so now copy these files to your Arch install:
+
Your Arch install will already be mounted on {{ic|/mnt}} so now copy these files to your Arch install:
  
 
  mkdir -p /mnt/opt/restore
 
  mkdir -p /mnt/opt/restore
Line 229: Line 200:
 
  cp -a * /mnt/opt/restore
 
  cp -a * /mnt/opt/restore
  
Now you will need to {{Codeline|chroot}} ([[Change Root]]) to your Arch install:
+
Now you will need to {{Ic|chroot}} ([[Change Root]]) to your Arch install:
  
 
  cd /mnt
 
  cd /mnt
Line 266: Line 237:
 
  yaourt -S $(cat /opt/restore/pkglist-loc.txt | grep -vx "$(pacman -Qqm)")
 
  yaourt -S $(cat /opt/restore/pkglist-loc.txt | grep -vx "$(pacman -Qqm)")
  
{{Codeline|grep -vx ...}} here is used to remove packages that are already installed.  This comes in useful in case you have to restart the command because you had trouble installing one of the packages.  If you have packages already built by yaourt and in your yaourt cache, you can avoid recompiling again by going to that cache and installing the packages manually ({{Codeline|pacman -U ...}}).
+
{{Ic|grep -vx ...}} here is used to remove packages that are already installed.  This comes in useful in case you have to restart the command because you had trouble installing one of the packages.  If you have packages already built by yaourt and in your yaourt cache, you can avoid recompiling again by going to that cache and installing the packages manually ({{Ic|pacman -U ...}}).
  
 
=== Extract Configurations ===
 
=== Extract Configurations ===
Line 276: Line 247:
 
A couple things to look out for:
 
A couple things to look out for:
  
* Be aware of any changes to your partition layout.  If you changed your partition, you will need to edit both {{Filename|/etc/fstab}} and {{Filename|/boot/grub/menu.lst}}.
+
* Be aware of any changes to your partition layout.  If you changed your partition, you will need to edit both {{ic|/etc/fstab}} and {{ic|/boot/grub/menu.lst}}.
 
* If you had special options for the kernel ram disk (initrd), then you will have to re-compile it before your reboot to get your expected behavior.
 
* If you had special options for the kernel ram disk (initrd), then you will have to re-compile it before your reboot to get your expected behavior.
  

Revision as of 13:53, 13 June 2012

This article is intended to show you how to backup your configurations and your package list, then to do a full system restore, restore packages, and finally restore your configurations..

Motivation

The need for this documentation is uncommon in the sense that the need to restore from configurations only is only really necessary for the following reasons:

  1. You would like to change your system architecture (e.g. 32bit to 64bit).
  2. If a program or programs begin to behave unexpectedly and no help in the forums (or elsewhere) is available is able to fix the problem. By chance reinstalling your programs and other configurations might fix the problem.
  3. You have limited hard disk space and are not capable of doing a full restore from backup.
Tip: If you are a regular computer user, generally it is good practice to backup your primary drive to a backup hard drive after getting your system installed. Secondary storage disks can be found relatively inexpensively these days and are able to store/restore an entire drive of programs, configurations, documents, etc. in a safe and reliable way. If you have a hardware setup like this, look at programs like the Clonezilla CD, or the Parted Magic CD (includes Clonzilla and other tools) which are both open-source and can image your hard drive for later restoration.

Backup

Using tar in a script can make archiving configurations get done in just a couple steps.

Include and Exclude Files

Tar has the ability to read from both an include and an exclude file. This means that you can tell tar everything you would like to include in the backup and exclude just by using two files. The format used is one line per file or directory that indicates the full path. For example:

/etc/pacman.conf
/etc/rc.conf
/home/user
...

And is invoked like this:

tar --files-from=include.txt --exclude-from=exclude.txt -c --xz -f backupname.tar.xz

The name of the files can be anything you want. The exclude file is like the include file but additionally has the ability to be able to use regexps, as well as being able to be commented and have blank lines.

Backup Script

This backup script has the ability to add to the include and exclude files and the ability to backup the configurations. The usage is:

 bckcfg <i|e|n|c> - backup configurations
  i - add to the include list a file or folder
  e - add to the exclude list a file or folder or regexp pattern
  n - add note
  c - create backup

For example to add to the include file:

bckcfg i /etc/rc.conf

And to add to the exclude file:

bckcfg e .thumbnails/

The script is able to detect the full path so writing a relative or partial path is acceptable.

To backup, this script names your backup by several definable variables, removes old backups if desired, then backs up the configurations. The include and exclude files are placed in the same directory as the backup script.

bckcfg
#!/bin/bash
# Backup configurations

# Backup destination directory
#bckp_dest="/home/todd/Desktop"
bckp_dest="/run/media/todd/Backup/backup-configs"

# Backup name
comp="${HOSTNAME}"  # Computer name
dist="arch"         # Distro
type="configs"
date="$(date "+%F")"
bckp_file="$bckp_dest/$comp-$dist-$type-$date.tar.xz"

# Include and exclude file locations
scrpt_dir="/home/todd/.scripts/backup"
incl_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-inc.txt
excl_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-exc.txt
note_file="$scrpt_dir"/${0##*/}-nte.txt

scrp_help () {
echo " ${0##*/} <i|e|n|c> - backup configurations
  i - add to the include list a file or folder
  e - add to the exclude list a file or folder or regexp pattern
  n - add note
  c - create backup"
}

del_old_bckps () {
if [[ -n "$(find "$bckp_dest" -mtime +30)" ]]; then
  find "$bckp_dest" -name "$distro-$type-*" -mtime +30 -exec rm {} \
  \; && echo " Deleted backups older than one month."
fi
}

case $1 in
  # Add to include list file or folder
  i ) shift
      for f in "$@"; do
        # Check if selection(s) exist
        if [ ! -e "$f" ]; then
          echo " File \""$f"\" does not exist."
          continue
        fi
        # Append file/folder to include list
        full_path=$(readlink -f "$f")
        echo "$full_path" >> "$incl_file" && \
        echo " Added \""$f"\" to ${0##*/} include file."
      done
      # Sort entries
      sort -u "$incl_file" -o "$incl_file" ;;
  # Add to exclude list file, folder, or regexp pattern
  e ) shift
      echo " * \"${0##*/}\" doesn't check if patch is correct because the exclude file can contain regexps.  Be sure the path is correct (e.g. '/mnt/win/*')" | fmt -c -u -w 80
      read -p " Add \""$@"\" to ${0##*/} exclude file? (y/n): " add_exclude
      if [[ "$add_exclude" == [Yy] ]]; then
        echo "$@" >> "$excl_file" && \
        echo " Added \""$@"\" to ${0##*/} exclude file."
      else
        echo " Error: \""$@"\" not added."
      fi ;;
  # Add to note file
  n ) shift
      echo ""$date"-"$(date "+%r")": "$@"" >> "$note_file" && \
      echo " Added string to \""$note_file"\"." ;;
  # Create backup
  c ) # Check if backup directory exists
      if [ ! -d "$bckp_dest" ]; then
        echo " Directory \""$bckp_dest"\" does not exist."
        exit
      fi
      # Delete old backups
      #del_old_bckps
      # Backup configurations
      sudo tar --exclude-from=$excl_file --files-from=$incl_file -c --xz -f $bckp_file ;;
  * ) # Display usage if no parameters give
      scrp_help ;;
esac

Packages

Package lists can be created that can re-install your programs upon a restore. If you have the hard disk space available, you might also want to consider saving the install packages (*.pkg.tar.gz) as well.

Creating a Package List

You can create a list of all installed official packages with:

pacman -Qqe | grep -v "$(pacman -Qqm)" > pkglist-off.txt

This will create a list of all packages in the official, enabled pacman repositories (i.e. core, extra, community and testing).

To create a list of all local packages (includes packages installed from the AUR):

pacman -Qqm > pkglist-loc.txt

Saving Package Tarballs

Pacman saves all package tarballs in /var/cache/pacman/pkg/. Saving these will increase your re-install speed so consider saving these as well. You might want to think about reducing the size of the cache before backing up too. Pacman has the ability to remove any uninstalled packages from the cache with:

pacman -Sc
Yaourt

If you use Yaourt to install packages from the AUR, you might want to consider setting up a cache for it (Yaourt by default does not save the built package tarballs). To setup a cache directory, edit /etc/yaourtrc to include one:

  ExportToLocalRepository /var/cache/pacman/pkg-local

Then give the directory the necessary permissions so Yaourt can write to it as a regular user:

mkdir -p /var/cache/pacman/pkg-local
chmod 766 /var/cache/pacman/pkg-local

Copy these packages to your seperate medium.

Storing the Backup

After you have made up your tarred configurations, package lists, and (optionally) your install packages, you are going to need to store them on a seperate medium than your install partition/drive. Do not put your package lists and install packages in your tarred configurations. This is because all packages must be reinstalled first before you restore your configurations to prevent file conflicts (pacman will not install packages with file conflicts). If you have large enough USB Flash Drive these work well. Optionally you can burn them to a CD or use a partition utility like gparted to create an extra partition. If using CD's you can span large archives by using the split utility. To create a new partition consider using the Parted Magic CD which has gparted on it.

Restoring

Restoring will involve:

  1. Installing the base system through the AIF (Arch Installation Framework).
  2. Changing root.
  3. Reinstalling all your packages.
  4. Extracting your configurations.
  5. Adding a new user.

AIF Install

Install Arch Linux as you normally would through the AIF on the LiveCD.

Change Root

When finished, mount your USB Flash Drive (or whatever medium you choose to save your configurations... on).

mkdir /backup-files
mount /dev/<disk-drive-parition> /backup-files

Your Arch install will already be mounted on /mnt so now copy these files to your Arch install:

mkdir -p /mnt/opt/restore
cd /backup-files
cp -a * /mnt/opt/restore

Now you will need to chroot (Change Root) to your Arch install:

cd /mnt
cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc
mount -t proc none /mnt/arch/proc
mount -t sysfs none /mnt/arch/sys
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/arch/dev
chroot . /bin/bash

Reinstall your Packages

Reinstall packages from the official repositories, the AUR, and locally installed packages separately to better diagnose problems if they occur.

Official

First reinstall packages from the official repositories;

pacman -Sy
pacman -S --needed $(cat /opt/restore/pkglist-off.txt)

The AUR

Yaourt comes in handy here. To quickly install yaourt again:

wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/yaourt/yaourt.tar.gz
tar xvf yaourt.tar.gz && cd yaourt*
makepkg -s
pacman -U yaourt-*.pkg.tar.gz

Then to install AUR pakages from the list:

yaourt -S $(cat /opt/restore/pkglist-loc.txt | grep -vx "$(pacman -Qqm)")

grep -vx ... here is used to remove packages that are already installed. This comes in useful in case you have to restart the command because you had trouble installing one of the packages. If you have packages already built by yaourt and in your yaourt cache, you can avoid recompiling again by going to that cache and installing the packages manually (pacman -U ...).

Extract Configurations

Once all packages have been installed you can extract the configurations:

tar xvf /opt/restore/hostname-arch-configs-date-tar.gz -C /mnt

A couple things to look out for:

  • Be aware of any changes to your partition layout. If you changed your partition, you will need to edit both /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst.
  • If you had special options for the kernel ram disk (initrd), then you will have to re-compile it before your reboot to get your expected behavior.

Final Details

Good time to add your user now before you reboot. When creating a user, consider giving the user a unique user id (UID). This will help prevent conflicts in the future with other users and programs having the same UID (UIDs for users generally start at 1000):

useradd -m -u 1050 -G audio,optical,power,storage,users,video -s /bin/bash user

If you have restored a user home directory (/home/user) from your backup configurations, the -m switch will give a warning about an already existing home directory but will not alter the directory. Do not forget to change permissions in your home directory if your UIDs differ:

chown -R username:users /home/user

Now, reboot. Expect a few unexpected things here. No re-install is perfect. ALSA may pop up a warning and may have to be configure again and there may be a few other things unconsidered. That's it. Congratulations on your reinstall.