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[Discuss] Backing up the entire software installation

On Thu, 25 Oct 2018 12:12:00 -0500
Derek Martin <invalid at> wrote:

> I don't sysadmin professionally anymore, but when I did, I also
> preferred the same solutiion as Rich:  Don't back up OS and software,
> do a fresh install.  And I still prefer that.  It's usually faster and
> easier, and it also gives you a nice opportunity to update to more
> recent versions of things, if you haven't been keeping up with
> updates, or even update to a newer OS.  

While Debian itself is very easily upgraded to new major releases,
Ubuntu isn't. Canonical have created tools to run in place upgrades. My
experience with them is that if you're running a desktop environment
then the target won't upgrade cleanly. Upgrades to console-only "server"
installs are more likely to succeed.

Red Hat have created tools to upgrade major releases (EL 6 to EL 7). My
experience with them is that they are even less reliable than
Canonical's, requiring the removal of all packages from third party and
non-default yum repositories and the removal of those repositories. And
maybe the upgrade will work and maybe it won't, and even if it does
work you're still saddled with ext4 because that can't be converted in
place to xfs.

Avoid ext4 for anything important if at all possible.

Rich Pieri

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