How do you backup linux user accounts and groups?

What is the correct way to backup/restore linux user accounts and groups?

With a clean OS install can you just copy a backup of /etc over... I was told not good for user accounts so then how?


Thanks!
techwhoreAsked:
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Kamran ArshadIT AssociateCommented:
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techwhoreAuthor Commented:
Actually that is the article I was reading. What I am unsure of however is how to deal with a tar backup of /etc that contains the accounts.... I don't think that this solution applies because it is talking going from one live system to another live system... I am guessing there is a difference?

Thanks!
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crovaxyCommented:
If you have a tarball containing the /etc directory of the old server, just uncompreed it to somewhere (eg: /tmp/old_etc/) and parse follow the article you're reading. Use the path /tmp/old_etc/ instead of /etc when creating the .mig files, eg:

# awk -v LIMIT=$UGIDLIMIT -F: '($3>=LIMIT) && ($3!=65534)' /tmp/old_etc/passwd > /root/move/passwd.mig

instead of:

# awk -v LIMIT=$UGIDLIMIT -F: '($3>=LIMIT) && ($3!=65534)' /etc/passwd > /root/move/passwd.mig

After the .mig are created, follow the article as it is.
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crovaxyCommented:
If you already have new user accounts created on the new system, pay attention to the UIDs used by the users you're migrating. They should NOT collapse with the ones existing in the new server. If you're unsure about this, edit the /etc/passwd and the /tmp/old_etc/passwd file and check if there's users using the same UID (not applicable for the system users (< 500)... they won't be migrated if you follow the article).
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