I have a VPS with Debian 6 (squeeze) and want to back it up on an external drive at home, so that in case of failure I can restore the complete operating system with all software, settings and databases.
The solution I think of is to
rsync the server's
/ directory to the external drive, like
rsync --one-file-system --archive "firstname.lastname@example.org:/" "/media/backup". The
--one-file-system option will exclude virtual directories like
Most VPS providers don't have the option of booting the server from a virtual CD or modifying its filesystem when it's not running, so backup restoration to a new VPS would have to involve a fresh install of Debian modifying itself.
I think it can be done by
rsyncing the external drive to the server's
/ directory, with a command like
rsync --one-file-system --archive --delete "/media/backup" "email@example.com:/".
--delete is used to delete files on the server that are not in the backup, and
--one-file-system not to delete virtual directories (that were excluded when making the backup).
The virtualization platform is OpenVZ, so the kernel is shared and
/boot is empty.
Is the described solution reliable? Should I exclude some more directories? If the solution is not reliable, what alternative do you suggest?