Would like to back up my system configuration in Centos 7. What is a good way to do this?


  • There is no special data that needs to be backed up
  • Would like to be able to save and restore to the state that the system was in after I spent all the time to install the OS, install other software, set up network and other configuration.
  • Would prefer not to have to touch the actual server and instead use ssh or graphical interface through the VNC viewer I have set up.

There seem to be a lot of tools out there that could be used to do this, but I'm not sure which is the right one for Centos & and for this particular use case. I've looked into: timeshift, lvm snapshots, dump, and clonezilla SE.

I'm really not sure which of these, if any, I should apply to this use case?


Sorry to break this to you, but you're going about this from the wrong angle. :)

Instead of modifying your server's configuration directly and then having to worry about backing it up, you should be using a configuration management system.

I'm partial to Ansible, but there are many other very viable options.

Once you have a config management system set up, not only are your configs backed up, but they can also be version controlled, and easily placed into a dev/staging/prod hierarchy. Additionally, if your server dies, you can deploy and configure a new one automatically, typically within minutes instead of installing and configuring things by hand, which is error-prone, tedious, and time consuming.

  • Don't be sorry! Its a relief to know I've been approaching it wrong, been getting that feeling :) Dumb question: Is Ansible free, they just try to upsell you on the nice GUI and support? This is just for 15 machines in my basement so money is an issue... – Chris Dutrow Apr 4 '16 at 21:58
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    @ChrisDutrow Ansible core is indeed free. They do try and put the hard-sell on, though, for Ansible Tower, don't they? docs.ansible.com/ansible/intro_installation.html#installation – EEAA Apr 4 '16 at 22:09
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    Ansible Tower is free for 10 hosts, but it's not necessary. You can also use Ansible alone, or with Rundeck, or possibly other solutions. – Michael Hampton Apr 4 '16 at 23:28

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