Maintenance - refresh my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny

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Maintenance - refresh my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny

Postby bcinteractive » 2010-02-18 10:52

Is there a way I could ´clean´ my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny short of making a total re-installation. -- like maybe clean my user account´s desktop configurations -- ´of course´ I need a way to backup and restore them one by one if I need to.

And any other best practice to maintain a happy GNU/Linux Debian box

I am a happy Desktop user of Debian. Very apt to my needs -- no pun intended. I have 3 computers running GNU/Linux Debian. Two (2) of them Lenny and one bleeding edge Sid. Two (2) of them quite fast enough dual cores and one Pentium 4 1.7Ghz -- all have 1Gb memory or more.

Two of them are connected to the Internet. The Pentium is using DVDs only. I don´t worry about virus -- ever since I started using them -- really! :wink:

Lately, one Lenny connected to the internet is crashing more and more that it look likes it wants to compete with Windows in crashing frequently.

Thanks!
:) Things Change
:) Just Do It
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Re: Maintenance - refresh my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny

Postby Bro.Tiag » 2010-02-18 13:13

bcinteractive wrote:Is there a way I could ´clean´ my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny short of making a total re-installation. -- like maybe clean my user account´s desktop configurations -- ´of course´ I need a way to backup and restore them one by one if I need to.

And any other best practice to maintain a happy GNU/Linux Debian box

I am a happy Desktop user of Debian. Very apt to my needs -- no pun intended. I have 3 computers running GNU/Linux Debian. Two (2) of them Lenny and one bleeding edge Sid. Two (2) of them quite fast enough dual cores and one Pentium 4 1.7Ghz -- all have 1Gb memory or more.

Two of them are connected to the Internet. The Pentium is using DVDs only. I don´t worry about virus -- ever since I started using them -- really! :wink:

Lately, one Lenny connected to the internet is crashing more and more that it look likes it wants to compete with Windows in crashing frequently.

Thanks!
First I think you should try and sort out why one is crashing? Do you have an idea?, What type of error messages are you getting? Anything in the log files to offer some clues?

As to cleaning up your install, have you run apt-get clean? Now their are several strategies for backingup users accounts. The first would be to have them on a separate partition. Then what I do is just unmount said partition and mount a new empty partition in it's stead. Clean up the etc/fstab to match the change in users phisical partitions and reboot. This way I have my old config files close to hand and can copy them as needed as well as anything that I might have forgoten was important. It might also isolate a problem if it's a config error.

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Re: Maintenance - refresh my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny

Postby nadir » 2010-02-18 14:36

Is there a way I could ´clean´ my GNU/Linux Debian Lenny short of making a total re-installation. -- like maybe clean my user account´s desktop configurations -- ´of course´ I need a way to backup and restore them one by one if I need to.

i am not sure if i understand you correct. what i understand is you want to save the config-files?
what BroTiag says is just fine, and i do it that way. but i am a bit paranoid and save everything for several times.
the following is just another method, not a better one.

if you ask me: doing it from a filemanager, show hidden files, click on them and save them on a stick is the better choice. i have ran into very big trouble with the following method, and more than once. from a file-manager doesn't look that cool, but having to repair the mess or having to re-install ain't very cool neither. :mrgreen:

from the cli, i do it like this, all the commands are run from my home directory
(some examples, the final command is at the bottom):
Code: Select all
rsync -auv -n --delete-after --exclude=".VirtualBox" ./.[a-z,A-Z,0-9]* /media/stick/backup_home_config  > dry.txt

and for /etc/ configs
Code: Select all
rsync -auv --delete-after /etc/ /media/stick/etc_backup


of course you might use cp -a ( i think). if you do it once you might skip the --delete-after, if you ain't got hidden files you need to skip the --exclude="pattern" too. might be as simple as:
Code: Select all
rsync -auv -n ./.[a-z,A-Z,0-9]* /media/stick/backup_home_configs >dry.txt

have a look at the dry.txt, if all is ok, and run it:
rsync -auv ./.[a-z,A-Z]* /media/stick/backup_home_configs
or
Code: Select all
cp -a ./.[a-z,A-Z,0-9]* /media/stick/backup_home_configs

this last command should be sufficient to save the configs once. and its easy enough (assuming you ain't got a 10GB thing like .VirtualBox as a hidden file). if you do it with any of those methods: create a test-directory and run some tests to see what happens.

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

what i do to clean up:
apt-get clean
apt-get autoremove
aptitude purge ~c
deborphan ###and if i want to remove what it lists do the following command:
deborphan | xargs apt-get remove --purge -y
rm -r /var/log/*gz && rm -r /var/log/*old
i check under /boot if there are old initrd's i don't need any more, check under /usr/src and /lib/modules
i check for the folder sizes with a file-manager of choice, all sub-folders under / , one after the other.
hunt with synaptic for packages i really don't need and remove them.

if you want to make a big bang check for debfoster, there is a thread somewhere, but i would need to search for it.

------------------------------
First I think you should try and sort out why one is crashing? Do you have an idea?, What type of error messages are you getting? Anything in the log files to offer some clues?

yes, sure.
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