An experiment in backup

Kevin O'Gorman kogorman at
Sat Jan 17 03:28:34 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 3:54 AM, Tom H <tomh0665 at> wrote:

> On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 10:19 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman at>
> wrote:
> >
> > I have a tar backup of the entire system, excluding /sys, /proc and /dev.
> > I have a tar backup of a bind-mount of /dev.
> > These were taken while the system was running, but quiet. I did it this
> > way because I cannot get the system to boot into single user mode.
> Putting
> > "single" on the end of the "linux" like results in a black screen.
> >
> > I restored these, created /sys and /proc, and tried to boot the resulting
> > partition. It boots, but X does not come up, or even seem to try. I can
> do
> > a console login to my usual account, and stuff is there.
> What commands did you run to back up and restore the system?
> For the Linux part (there's also Windows on some of my machines) it's all

> Is '/tmp' a tmpfs filesystem? If not, did you back up and restore it?

It's a subdirectory of /, not a mount point on the machine in question.

> Did you exclude '/run'? If not, did you restore it?
I exclude /var/run and /var/lock

> Did you create '/proc' and '/sys' with the right ownership and mode?
> Hmm.  They appear right. 755 owned by root.

> If this is a Debian system, is it a non-standard install that doesn't
> use udev (AFAIK this is still possible)? If not, there's no point in
> backing up and restoring '/dev'.
> It's vanilla Xubuntu.  I back up and restore what's on the hard drive via
a bind mount.
I wasn't convinced there wasn't something in the boot process that needed

> If this is an Ubuntu system, the default '(recovery)' grub entry will
> have 'nomodeset' appended. Try that when you add 'single'.
> Are you using a DM?

 A what? Xubuntu uses xfce4 if that answers the question.

Are you using a WM or a DE?
A what?

> Have you looked at the logs? Especially Xorg.0.log and xsessions-errors.
Xorg logs seem normal
I don't see any xsessions-errors file

> Can you launch X after logging in to the console?

I don't know how.

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Kevin O'Gorman
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