Restoring from only configurations, I learned, takes a lot of time. Just downloading all the relevant pieces on a slow connection can take days. Next time I do this I fork out the extra money for an external hard drive. A starter will run about 90 dollars but I have tons of DVD’s lying around and I just might use those.
To do a system-backup, it a funny, odd, thing that I have to backup differently in Gentoo than Ubuntu. In Ubuntu on a running system I could just “cd” to root and “tar -czpvf name.tgz *” and make a good backup. In Gentoo its not so easy. I haven’t got the details but this creates a problem with /dev after a restore. /dev won’t populate properly, complain about a missing console… It’s fixable but very ugly. Now I have a fully populated /dev and it just isn’t necessary. Baselayout is the culprit here but how it interferes, I’m not sure.
You can do a clean backup by booting from the CD.
mount /dev/hda /mnt/gentoo
tar -czpvf /mnt/gentoo/Gentoo-Backup.tgz *
I think next time I will back up to DVD’s. If you have an external DVD it’s just as easy to put the backup onto it. Grab the full backup and break it up.
tar -c -M --tape-length=4403200 --file=Gentoo-Backup-DVD1.tar Gentoo-Backup.tgz
4403200 is just under 4.368GB the real physical volume limit of a DVD. “tape-length” refrers to old storage tape media devices like you see in old NASA pictures. You’ll be prompted with:
Prepare volume #2 for Gentoo-Backup-DVD1.tar and hit return:
Enter “n” here for new followed by a name:
Reverse the process to put it back together:
tar -x -M --file=Gentoo-Backup-DVD1.tar Gentoo-Backup.tgz