rsync recovery of system backup to different Linux computer

gldickens3 gordon at
Sun Oct 26 20:35:05 GMT 2008

Hi Matt and Paul,

Thanks for your prompt reply to my question about recovering a system backup
to a different computer.  However, I must report that I chickened out and
just reloaded the box from scratch.  I made extensive use of the config
files from my rsync backup which did make it much easier than a reload from
scratch.  My new hardware is enough different from my old hardware that I
just didn't feel comfortable investing the time to try a recovery directly
from the backup.  I would have tried it anyway if I had local access to the
computer. But I was concerned that it might not reboot after the rsync
recovery which would probably require a complete OS reload and since my new
computer is in a data center 1000 miles from where I live and I just didn't
want to take that risk.

Thanks again guys!


On Tue 21 Oct 2008, Paul Slootman wrote:

I'd do it this way:

- Have a known-good kernel for the new hardware. Preferably as a distro
  package so it's easy to install.

- Boot off a live cdrom, or e.g. netboot the system if you know how.
  This way the filesystems are not used for e.g. your shell, rsync
  binary, shared libraries etc. while it's being overwritten.

- Mount the disk filesystems on a subdirectory. You may want to
  repartition and create new filesystems to match the old layout.

- Rsync the backup onto the new filesystems.

- Install the kernel, don't forget to setup grub or lilo or whatever.
  Using chroot can be handy here.

- Perhaps tune the /etc/fstab to match the present layout.

- reboot and hope for the best :-)

Paul Slootman

On Mon 20 Oct 2008, Matt McCutchen wrote:

Try it; you have nothing to lose.  I imagine how well the new system
will work / how many problems you may have to track down depends on how
significantly the new hardware differs from the old.  I have never done
this kind of recovery so I don't have a point of reference.


On Mon, 2008-10-20 at 05:49 -0700, gldickens3 wrote:

> I have been making off site backups of my CentOS Linux servers using
> rsync.
> One of my hosting companies has suddenly gone out of business and I am
> unable to access the server that I was renting at that location, however,
> I
> have a complete system backup on another Linux server at a different
> location.  My question is: Is it possible for me to load that rsync backup
> to another computer system that is from a different hardware manufacturer?
> That is, once I have procured a replacement system from another vendor,
> can
> I then recover from the rsync backup that I made from the original
> computer
> that is now unavailable.
> I am very confident in both my backup and recovery rsync scripts, however,
> I
> am uncertain if the new system would work once the rsync backup was
> recovered since its a different piece of computer hardware.

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