refracta snapshot and installer

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refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-29 23:16

The following packages come with absolutely no warranty or guarantee of any type including but not limited to express, implied, merchantability or fitness of purpose. In other words, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!



refractasnapshot - creates a live cd of your installed debian system, the COMPLETE system including users and data
refractainstaller - a very basic and simple installer that can be used when running the live cd


Intended usage:
install debian and configure it how you wish
install refractasnapshot and refractainstaller
use refractasnapshot to make a live image of your installed system
burn the live image to a cd
run the cd live
while running the cd live use refractainstaller to install the live system to a partition


repo is here
Code: Select all
deb http://distro.ibiblio.org/pub/linux/distributions/refracta/refracta-tools/ ./


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You will not find these apps in your menu. You can run them from a terminal or a run utility. The apps themselves are graphical though.

----------------------

When you install the tools they will pull in most of the stuff they need to work but some things I consider optional/adjustable so a few things may be missing.

The refractainstaller tool will pull in rsync if not already installed. You should also have a version of grub installed if you want the installer to be able to install grub. The refractasnapshot tool will pull in rsync, squashfs-tools, genisoimage, live-initramfs and its buddys.

Both of them need X as well as python and python-glade I believe. You probably already have them installed.

You will need xterm installed or edit the files in /usr/local/bin/ to use your favorite terminal.

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If you run these tools from a terminal then you will see errors like 'file not found' or 'file doesn't exist' or similar. Those are non-critical errors.....move along....nothing to see here....

---------------------------

I tested this on debian squeeze with gnome-core and xorg.

I have tested this on umpteen different lenny combinations.

I install everything to one partition.

I do not use a swap partition.

----------------------------------

Once installed you will find the code in /usr/local/lib. It is simply bash commands wrapped in python and is easily edited. You will also find the glade file for the GUI in the same location. You will also find the exclude.list file which defines what is excluded when things are copied to and fro. You can edit the exclude list to your hearts content. If you have a swap partition then you may need to add a entry to the /usr/local/lib/refractasnapshot/exclude.list so that it is excluded from the snapshot.

---------------------------------

This is a hack-ish method and using live-helper is a much MUCH better choice.

---------------------

enjoy...
Last edited by MeanDean on 2010-11-30 10:11, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby bmc5311 » 2010-11-30 00:40

how does it work?
am i correct in assuming that it clones / or can it be set up to only do / ?
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 00:53

elven magic

refractasnapshot copies / minus a few things, squashes it, rolls it into a iso...

refractainstaller copies the live system to a partition, installs grub, creates a swap file, creates a new fstab file, and thats about it
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby bmc5311 » 2010-11-30 00:59

MeanDean wrote:elven magic

refractasnapshot copies / minus a few things, squashes it, rolls it into a iso...

refractainstaller copies the live system to a partition, installs grub, creates a swap file, creates a new fstab file, and thats about it


do i need eye of newt for eleven magic? :D

so, if i used refractasnapshot (with rsync and cron, say weekly) for backups of / i could use refractainstaller to re-install / back to my machine if i ever needed to?
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 01:10

bmc5311 wrote:so, if i used refractasnapshot (with rsync and cron, say weekly) for backups of / i could use refractainstaller to re-install / back to my machine if i ever needed to?


maybe....maybe not....guess I should explain further.....


Intended usage:
use refractasnapshot to make a live image of your system
burn the live image to a cd
run the cd live
while running the cd live use refractainstaller to install the live system
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby bmc5311 » 2010-11-30 01:19

thank you, crystal clear (i think)...
i think it'll do what i want, might be the tool i've been searching for.
i back up /home to an external drive (rsync & cron) nightly, i've been looking for an easy way to make a bootable copy of / in the unlikely (did i just jinx it?) event my system sh!ts the bed.

or am i barking up the wrong tree?
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby nadir » 2010-11-30 01:26

If you only want an installable backup, and if you want to run that once a week! , i don't think it is the best choice.
I will try to explain:
With refractasnapshot it will rsync the whole shebang each week. That, the whole shebang, is a lot.
(that might be fun the first four or six weeks, but in the long run?)
If you only want to make a backup: use rsync only.
It will only rsync the differences, and that will run through very fast (for me it takes a few minutes, less than five).
If you need the backup: just rsync it back.

That is my experience with the refractasnapshot, and that might be wrong.
It is nice that it is a no-brainer, but it keeps the user -that is me in that case- a bit stupid.

I use it to have got a cool rescue-CD.
I got it installed in Vbox for that purpose.
Step by step i add what i think i need. Little scripts, apps, keyboard-shortcuts, bookmarks, notes, whatever.
I use it for a while, make notes what i miss, add it , and run the "snapshot" again.

That is my opinion, and i do the things in the way i am able to.
Giving it a try won't hurt.
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 01:49

bmc5311 wrote:or am i barking up the wrong tree?

no idea....nobody has barked up my tree in a long time....way tooooo long...

by default it copies the whole system.....users...passwords....home directory.....music, porn, everything....EVERYTHING....

everything except what is in the exclude.list and you are welcome to edit it to your needs....

heck you can edit the code in /usr/local/lib/ to do anything you wish it to do, it is technically just bash commands wrapped up in python...

I would call it overkill for a general backup tool....but I use it to backup my system before I make a mess of things, try something crazy, just to keep a working snapshot of my system, and so forth...but I am a lazy fook...

be aware the live installer does not provide many options, it will install the system to ONE partition, it does not provide a partitioning tool, it does give you the option of installing grub or not and where, it creates a swapfile in the / partition, and thats about it...oh and it does prompt to configure timezone... :shock:
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby llivv » 2010-11-30 02:08

( I was wondering if I was "apt updating" my local install that I "chroot into from the debian standard LiveCD" or the live system the chroot was running on top of..)
my squeeze standard livecd updates about 40 packages, so I didn't do that yet..

is rsync in the refracta package hooked into apt?
I noticed that refracta package looks to me like it's made for use with xserver
or does it like the standard system almost as much?

I hope to learn about and build my first LiveCD(s) soon,... maybe in squeeze if I can get me aLive an up to speed by then...
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 02:18

llivv wrote:( I was wondering if I was "apt updating" my local install that I "chroot into from the debian standard LiveCD" or the live system the chroot was running on top of..)

uh huh....huh.....uh.....uh huh....


is rsync in the refracta package hooked into apt?

do who? anything that gets installed comes from the debian repos....except the tools themselves

I noticed that refracta package looks to me like it's made for use with xserver

it is a graphical app....for now....so yea X is required as well
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby bmc5311 » 2010-11-30 02:33

thanks for the answers/info guys.
- and meandean thanks for putting your stuff out there for everyone.
i'll mess around with it, no baseball and crappy virginia winter weather gives me plenty of time... :)
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 02:38

play with it on a extra system first....

I use those tools to create refracta, thought someone might find it useful though....

- and meandean thanks for putting your stuff out there for everyone.

I like my junk being out there for everyone to play with :lol:

i'll mess around with it, no baseball and crappy virginia winter weather gives me plenty of time...

windy and cold here in Narrows, VA but no rain.....or worse......yet.....
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby bmc5311 » 2010-11-30 02:52

MeanDean wrote:Narrows, VA but no rain.....or worse......yet.....


narrows? i didn't think they had interwebs up there :lol:
va beach - no real weather here compared to your neighborhood...

thanks again.
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby MeanDean » 2010-11-30 10:16

bmc5311 wrote:narrows? i didn't think they had interwebs up there :lol:

sure we do....probably subsidized/assisted/discounted by the tax dollars of those in the more economically un-depressed areas of the state


now if these redneck hicks could provide me with water/sewer for under a hundred a month then I would be living high on the hog....
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Re: refracta snapshot and installer

Postby dotlj » 2010-11-30 13:10

MeanDean wrote:Intended usage:
install debian and configure it how you wish
install refractasnapshot and refractainstaller
use refractasnapshot to make a live image of your installed system
burn the live image to a cd
run the cd live
while running the cd live use refractainstaller to install the live system to a partition

enjoy...


Dean,

Sounds great. A system that has been updated over a lengthy period, then backed up with this snapshot will be up to date, so the restore will be also.
Will the snapshot correctly copy encrypted partitions with unencrypted partitions? (Say unencrypted / and encrypted /home on separate partitions?)
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