Backing up.

Derek Broughton news at
Tue Nov 11 14:53:59 GMT 2008

Willy K. Hamra wrote:

> Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Robert Parker wrote:
>>> At last! A discussion of what should be backed up. I'd tar
>>> /var/cache/apt to a backup dir in /home also and make sure it was
>>> backed up before being cleaned. No sense in downloading all your
>>> updates and additions after a reinstall.
>> imo, that's about the last thing you need.  "No sense" in going to
>> the trouble of backing up files you can get easily from the net :-)
>> It's the stuff you _change_ that needs to be backed up.
> some ppl like me have a very slow connection and limited bandwidth, i
> can't imagine myself redownloading all this stuff, it'll take me
> months.

But you can get all that off a DVD, too...  It's easier (and in the long run cheaper) to order a DVD than to keep backing up your /var/cache/apt).

> but Robert should also remember that these packages are only
> suitable for a reinstall of the current system, backing the packages
> to be used after a fresh install of some other version of ubuntu is
> very wrong.

As long as you're just getting /var/cache/apt, it's not a big issue.  If you were to use the backup as a repository (there are various recipes to do this on the web), then more recent repos would always override it and if you restore it and "dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb" it will be safe as long as you use the "--refuse-downgrade" option (too bad that isn't the default - it's true that I almost only ever use dpkg when I _do_ want to do a downgrade, but it would be safer if that wasn't the default).

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