Is fsarchiver network capable?

Please ask questions here if you are not familiar with fsarchiver
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feffer777
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 5:11 am

Is fsarchiver network capable?

Post by feffer777 » Sun May 23, 2010 5:41 am

I have been using partimage for a couple of years to back up client linux OSs. I run it in my LAN from a server. The script I use can be run as a cron job, so coupled with ssh, partimage will back up remote clients in unattended mode. This works well on my multiboot linux machines. The booted client can't be cloned of course, but the other OS partitions can. However, since partimage is no longer actively being developed, and will not handle ext4 and has other issues, I'm looking for another solution.

I have tested rsync and it works remotely and in unattended scripts. It has many good features, and is especially good for my data partitions. It also works for OS partitions, but I have not settled on it. I'm thinking that in addition, it would be good to have OS backups based on fsarchiver.

I do not want to run fsarchiver from SysrescueCD, but rather from the server. I have it installed in my server now running debian squeeze. Is it possible to backup unbooted client partitions remotely? I didn't see networking mentioned in the wiki or forum, though. Even if it's not currently a feature, I'm wondering if there would be a way to do or test it. Not all of the linux OSs I run have fsarchiver in their repos, so there is no option to install it to all the client machines currently. I can construct a server script to mount a client /dev/partition, and was thinking that I could then mount a smbfs share on the server and perhaps use that in the fsarchiver script. Am I off base here? Is there a better or any way to do this?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Regards,
feffer

EDIT: OK I just saw a previous post about networking. So it sounds like smbfs or sshfs might be possible. Any more details about what this might look like?

admin
Site Admin
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Is fsarchiver network capable?

Post by admin » Tue May 25, 2010 11:37 am

fasrchiver has to be executed on the client because it must have a normal access to the filesystem to see all specs of it, such as the label, or advanced properties. It must have access to the block device (/dev/sda1 for instance), you can't just provide it a mounted cifs/nfs filesystem.

Most linux distributions now have fsarchiver in their repositories: debian squeeze, ubuntu 10.04, fedora, opensuse, mandriva. Their is an ebuild you can use on gentoo in portage overlay. And in the worst case you can just copy the precompiled static binary somewhere, it requires no library to run.

feffer777
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Is fsarchiver network capable?

Post by feffer777 » Tue May 25, 2010 8:38 pm

OK thx, that clarifies things. Older ubuntu distos do not have fsarchiver in their repo, so I installed the static binary to /usr/sbin/ but haven't tested it yet. I'm sure it will be fine. My planned server script will ssh to the client machine, run fsarchiver and then move the archive.fsa file to the server and then delete the file on the client. I run partimage this way now, because it's faster than using partimaged (the server daemon).

After testing fsarchiver to save, restore, and run as a server cron job, I'll post my impressions. Your effort on this project is greatly appreciated!

Regards,
feffer777

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 12:12 pm

Re: Is fsarchiver network capable?

Post by admin » Tue May 25, 2010 9:32 pm

You don't have to move the archive to the server. You can just use cifs/nfs to write the archive file directly on the server. Just be sure you use the latest version since old fsarchiver versions had a corruption when the archive was written to a cifs share. Now it's fixed.

feffer777
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 5:11 am

Re: Is fsarchiver network capable?

Post by feffer777 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:03 pm

After several weeks of using fsarchiver in a server script that employs a cifs mount, I can confirm that it works very well. My goal was to have a scriptable partition backup utility to replace partimage, and fsarchiver has done this to my satisfaction.

So far I've tested restores to the same partition only. These work fine. If Grub is installed to the partition being restored (I chainload most kernels), then it needs to be reinstalled, so some consideration of the first reboot must be made. I need to test restores to different partitions and a few other things, but have no reason to expect difficulty. Congrats on a fine app.

Regards,
feffer

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