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I run a web server on Debian-Lenny.

For the moment, I backup my whole system with tar with a daily script.

But for the recovery, I need to reinstall a clean Debian and then untar my latest tar file into the clean Debian and then I get my working system back.

Now, I would like to use a software like Ghost to backup my system daily.

If my system crashes, what I want is an usb key that I insert into my server with the latest image backed up from my server and I want to be up and running again.

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You shouldn't really have do a base install, just building a partition table, and creating the filesystems should be enough. A tar gives you a lot of flexibility. Perhaps you just need to take a full image of the base system after the install is done, and then restore your data? – Zoredache Jan 26 '11 at 21:55
BTW, are you expecting some down-time when the backup image is being taken, or did you want that to happen while the server was online? – Zoredache Jan 26 '11 at 21:56
I take my backup while my server is live (online). With tar. – Jonathan Rioux Feb 2 '11 at 2:55

If your have setup your system with a LVM you could make a snapshot and then create an image of your disk which you can than backup and with a saved partition table you have everything you need to restore your server on a new disc or even a new machine. The LVM snapshot allows you to backup your data to a specific time without your backup been mixed up with data that has changed since you started your backup.

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This works even better if you just Xen Dom0 with one or two DomU's on lvm volumes. Live snapshot of the running DomU and do what every you want it! – Niall Donegan Jan 26 '11 at 23:18

I don't see the problem? If you have ghost infrastructure, by all means use it. In the *nix world, we prefer things like dd and dump/restore.

You could also use PXE for system roll-out and a file server to store your system images on is a must-have.

Using a USB flash drive seems a bit desperate :-)

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Yeah, I think I will drop the idea of using a USB drive, héhé! – Jonathan Rioux Feb 2 '11 at 2:57

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