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We currently use IBM Tivoli to back up our Linux servers and we are looking for suggestions on the best way to restore to bare metal. I've read IBM's doc on this issue. Is that still relevant or is there a better way? Also, how do you handle testing a restore to a vm or another piece of hardware on the same network that the original server lives?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you want a commercial product with support, check out CBMR. I've seen it working on my previous job. It is decent software, supports TSM, supports Linux LVM, supports bare metal restore to a different hardware, and is re-sold by IBM.

Looking on their web site, I see they also now have something new called TBMR that seems to be even tighter integrated with TSM. I don't know this one, but in your situation it seems to be worth checking out too.

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What has your experience been with doing recovery using CBMR? Any tips or caveats? – Chad P Sep 2 '09 at 15:27
CBMR has no protection from files changing during the backup. But actually you need only /bin, /boot, /usr, etc, so I decided it is not an issue really. Just works as far as I've tested it. I tested only booting from CD, not from the network. – kubanczyk Sep 2 '09 at 21:05

Dont know about tivoli, but restoring Linux systems from bare metal can be easy or hard, depending on if you have used LVM.


  1. record fstab info

  2. save the boot block to a file on your disk and back it up

to restore: ( no LVM )

  1. Using the fstab info rebuild the target drive the same way

  2. Boot to another drive with the target drive hooked up too, so you and restore to it

  3. Using fdisk build the new drive the same as the old

  4. Restore to the target drive using your back up system

  5. Restore the book block and use dd to put it into place

  6. Probably have to install grub, lilo or whatever

  7. Boot to new drive

( these instruction assume no hardware change)

The key to be able to do this is PRACTICE!!!!!!

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This could work, but I find disk imaging a much more automated way to repartition disks. – kmarsh Mar 22 '10 at 15:57

On the GPL-licensed side, I only know of ReaR (Relax and Recover) which can handle TSM...

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I've seen CBMR used often with TSM for bare metal recovery, this is not an advertisement but it might be your best option. Cristie Bare Metal Recovery (google for it if interested)

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next year i ll get storix system backup administrator (SBA) is a graphical interface for administration of various types of backups of AIX and Linux systems. Backup Administrator is available in different configurations, providing options for standalone system, and centrally network administered network backups. SBA was designed not only to backup data files to a network server, but to also provide the ability to reinstall a complete system from scratch while providing the flexibility needed to restore the backup onto a different hardware environment. SBA supports all major filesystems, Logical Volume Manger (LVM) and software RAID devices (meta-disks).

At the moment I use multiple tools to image linux system only (my best one is mondo) , 1- use Mondo Rescue to clone linux systems mondo its only for linux distro, not for windows system in order to image your system and create bootable CD/DVD download mondo for your distro

2- You can use dd also. dd if=/dev/somedisk of=/dev/somedestination

3- rsync scripting

4- netcat On the source server: (cd / && tar -cvf - ) | nc 2000 On the destination:: nc -l -p 2000 | tar -xvf -


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