Linux

There are 2 articles in this category.

Server backup system

Posted on 2010-01-10 17:52:42

My home server is 10 years old now: it’s running this website, my personal intranet, a svn server and some other websites, and before today I didn’t have any backup system in place. The last backup I have of the data dates back to April 2008, so I decided it was time to have a proper backup system. Particularly since the server is somewhat ageing.

My idea:

  1. Tar and gzip the entire /home folder every night using a cron job. All SVN, MySQL and Apache data is stored in /home (good thing I set it up that way), so that’ll cover everything that might change daily
  2. Every month, make a copy of the entire system, in addition to the daily backup of /home
  3. Copy the .tar.gz backup file(s) to my desktop computer every day. The desktop computer has enough space for storing the backups: the compressed home directory is just over 100MB.

That way, I will lose at most one day of data, which isn’t much of a problem.

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Posted in: Computers, Linux

Crashed Windows laptop: Linux to the rescue!

Posted on 2008-11-02 20:33:13

Last weekend, my mum’s family was visiting at our place for mum’s birthday. My little nephew had brought his broken laptop along so that my big nephew could take a look at what was wrong. He had most likely hosed it by downloading lots of stuff from the big bad internet and installing it all, so Windows XP wouldn’t even boot.

After trying it a few times with the Windows XP installation CD, it consistently hung at “Detecting previously installed versions of Windows…”. My big nephew then concluded “broken harddisk: it probably can’t read stuff from it so it hangs”.

My reaction: not so sure, so I got out my Kubuntu “rescue” CD and booted the laptop with it. It took a while to boot up, but when I finally got myself a root prompt, I could mount the harddisk, though with the warning that it had an unclean shutdown. Viewing files on it worked perfectly as well. I thought that maybe the unclean shutdown was causing the XP installation to hang, so we tried it again. No luck.

Finally, I decided to try a little trick: set the partition flag for the windows partition from NTFS to Linux swap; that way Windows will assume the partition contains garbage and not try to detect previous versions of Windows!

Booting up again using the Windows XP install disk… and… it worked! Windows totally ignored the partition and allowed us to delete the Linux swap partition, and create an NTFS one to continue installation.

The end result: Linux saves the day again, and I have one happy little nephew.

Posted in: Computers, Linux