Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm backing up a Linux machine (called Gob) to a ReadyNAS. Everything is going fine but I want to practice a recovery so things have a higher chance of going smoothly in the event that a real disaster happens.

I think what I want to do is "recover" Gob to a clean machine and see if everything goes the way I expect. Does anyone know how to do that?

I'm running rsync from the ReadyNAS to Gob. The files from Gob are getting backed up on the ReadyNAS.

By the way, please don't tell me to visit the ReadyNAS forums. I've been there and the activity level is low.

share|improve this question
Why have you deleted an existing, very similar, question and then essentially reasked it? – Chopper3 Oct 12 '10 at 15:53
Way to go to encourage help - delete the existing question with answers and then ask it all over again. – Cry Havok Oct 12 '10 at 15:58
Are you asking about doing a bare-metal restore when you say "clean machine"? Because it doesn't look like you can do that out of the box, it doesn't look like ReadyNAS has a Kickstart server or any thing like it. Other than that, are you not able to simply copy files from the Backup share? – mfinni Oct 12 '10 at 15:58
@Chopper3: That's a good question and I have a good reason: my original question was unclear and, because I asked the question badly, the answers I was getting were fundamentally missing the point. – Jason Swett Oct 12 '10 at 19:47
@Cry Havok: My question was worded badly in the other post and the discussion there was a waste of your time and mine. If you don't like the way I'm going about trying to fix the problem, feel free to spend your time helping other people instead. – Jason Swett Oct 12 '10 at 19:50
up vote 1 down vote accepted

File level backups don't backup things like disk partitioning, formatting and boot-sector information - so you can't directly recover.

If the recovery hardware is not identical to the old hardware. I would perform a new clean install of Linux and then restore (most of) the files from your rsync backup.

If the recovery hardware is identical to the old hardware, you may in theory be able to use a live CD to partition the disks, format the filesystems, setup the boot loader and then restore the files. Allegedly, rsync can backup softlinks and special files such as device nodes - but I've never tried this. I imagine there may be other obstacles that are insurmountable.

There exist commercial products that offer bare-metal system recovery from bootable backup media. One example is Microlite's "Backup edge" - I'm sure there are others. In some cases I think they support restoring to different hardware (e.g. SATA not SCSI, different graphics and LAN adapters etc) - but this is difficult territory.

share|improve this answer
Looks like there's probably not a simple answer to my question (because there's more than one way to do it) but I think this points me in the right direction. I think what I want to do now is figure out the best way to restore "most of" my files from my backup. Thanks for the help. – Jason Swett Oct 13 '10 at 12:48

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.