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10. What Now?

This HOWTO results from experiments on one computer. No doubt you will find some directories or files you need to back up in your first stage backup. I have not dealt with saving and restoring X on the first stage, nor have I touched at all on processors other than Intel.

I would appreciate your feedback as you test and improve these scripts on your own computers. I also encourage vendors of backup software to document how to do a minimal backup of their products. I'd like to see the whole Linux community sleep just a little better at night.

10.1. To Do

Volunteers are most welcome. Check with me before you start on one of these in case someone else is working on it already.

  • We have no way to determine the label of a swap partition. This means that there is no way to provide the swap partition's label when restoring. We could assume that a system with a single swap partition (as indicated by fdisk) has the label used in the swap partition line in /etc/fstab, but that only works on single hard drive systems, and could produce subtle errors in systems with multiple swap partitions.

    The work-around is to add the label by hand by re-running mkswap with the -L option on it. Sigh.

  • A partition editor to adjust partition boundaries in the dev.hdx file. This will let users adjust partitions for a different hard drive, or the same one with different geometry, or to adjust partition sizes within the same hard drive. A GUI would probably be a good idea here. On the other tentacle, the FSF's parted looks like it will fill part of the bill. It does re-size existing partitions, but with restrictions.

  • make.fdisk currently only recognizes some FAT partitions, not all. Add code to make.fdisk to recognize others and make appropriate instructions to rebuild them in the output files.

  • For FAT12 or FAT16 partitions we do not format, write zeros into the partition so that Mess-DOS 6.x does not get confused. See the notes on fdisk for an explanation of the problem.

  • Translations into other (human) languages.

  • I've referred to Red Hat Package Manager (rpm) from time to time. What are the equivalent deb commands?

  • Modify the first stage backup code to only save the current kernel.