Solved

Bootable Tape for Redhat 7.3

Posted on 2010-11-10
11
611 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I'm a Linux hack, learning as I go based on a machine or two in our company.

This is probably really elementary for you pros.  I have a Redhat 7.3 box with a tape drive attached.  I would like to make a backup tape that I could use to boot the system in case of emergency or hardware issue.  I've been googling and tried a few methods, but haven't had any success.

As an alternative - it does have a cdrw attached to it as well.

Thanks in advanced.
0
Comment
Question by:Matt Hasten
  • 5
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
11 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:balasundaram_s
Comment Utility
Hardware & BIOS should support booting from Tape apart from RedHat.  And RedHat kernel has to be modified to support, creating boot image on Tape.  I dont think so, its worth the efforts.
Boot from CD and restore from Tape would be the best option, as it looks like.
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Enphyniti
Comment Utility
Assuming you are using dump/restore to create the tapes, I would use a generic Linux boot CD and use MT commands and dump/restore to write data from tape back to disk.  WAY faster than booting from tape.  

Is there a specific reason you want to do it from tape?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Matt Hasten
Comment Utility
Not really (on the tape specifically). Could one of you guys spell out the steps for making the data backup and a boot cd?
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Enphyniti
Comment Utility
how to use dump / restore to backup/restore your system:  http://www.nethamilton.net/docs/dump.html

Any generic linux distro boot cd should have MT and dump.
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:jools
Comment Utility
Use knoppix to boot up, make sure you can see your tape drive on the SCSI controller.
If you have RH 7.3 then dont use dump, there were posts about dump having bugs, RH 7.3 is really really old!!! Use cpio or tar to backup, do not backup /proc (I don't think /sys is on RH7.3!) I seem to remember /dev is not covered by udev so make sure this is backed up, it shouldnt cause problems).

Boot from knoppix CD/DVD.

Create your filesystem areas for root etc etc.

Mount the filesystems under /newroot (or whatever you want).

Restore from tape to /newroot.

Customise the /newroot/etc/fstab and the boot loader (could be lilo!!!).

TaDa!
0
Better Security Awareness With Threat Intelligence

See how one of the leading financial services organizations uses Recorded Future as part of a holistic threat intelligence program to promote security awareness and proactively and efficiently identify threats.

 

Author Comment

by:Matt Hasten
Comment Utility
Am looking at the cpio command now. Dump isn't an option, it isn't installed (unrecognized command).  I tried a few tar backups, but I cannot confirm that the directory I need backed up is really backed up. There really is only one data directory that I need backed up - this is a 'dumb' storage server - and all the data I need is in one directroy.
I'm a bit worried about rebooting before backing up. I'm getting a nebulous hardware warning light and the only way to get the diagnosis is rebooting (error logs are stored in ROM, accessible during bootup, per the IBM documentation).  Well, you know how it goes - the server may only still be running because it hasn't been rebooted.
I've got approximmately 97GB to get backed up. The tape drive specs say that with the tapes I have in my possession it will back up 80GB native and 160GB compressed.
0
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:jools
Comment Utility
Example backup commands;

cd /
find . | cpio -ocvC65536 > /dev/rmt0

cd /
tar czvf /dev/rmt0 .

The man pages offer loads of options for each command, there is no point if pasting here, just run man <command>.

What make / model tape drive are you using? You may be able to tweak the block size to get better thruput, there is a tape guy somewhere on EE who knows all the block sizes that can be used.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Matt Hasten
Comment Utility
The tape drive is a Exabyte VXA 2 - thanks for your help thus far. I'm much further along than I was.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Matt Hasten
Comment Utility
well - here's what I tried, which looked as though it was working, but then after nearly 6 hours, failed.
tar -csf /dev/st0 /Cache (Cache being the directory I want)
Like I mentioned, it ran for nearly 6 hours, but then returned this:
tar (child): //dev/st0: Wrote only 0 of 10240 bytes
tar (child): Error is not recoverable: exiting now
Broken pipe

Any ideas of what that means specifically?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Matt Hasten
Comment Utility
sorry, the ta command I used was:
tar -czf /dev/st0 /Cache

I put 's' instead of 'z' in the previous message.
0
 
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
jools earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
check out the man page of tar, it mentions a blocking option of N*512 bytes, the default is 20.

try `tar czf /dev/st0 -b 64 /Cache`

you can experiment with different block sizes, may want to test with a smaller directory first :-)
also, the z option compresses, if the tape drive compresses the data automatically then it may well add a bit of overhead. I think there is a tapeinfo (needs mtx package) command, or is it mt -f <device> status, I don't use tape myself, I find it easier to backup to disk.

0

Featured Post

Do You Know the 4 Main Threat Actor Types?

Do you know the main threat actor types? Most attackers fall into one of four categories, each with their own favored tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

VM backups can be lost due to a number of reasons: accidental backup deletion, backup file corruption, disk failure, lost or stolen hardware, malicious attack, or due to some other undesired and unpredicted event. Thus, having more than one copy of …
Microservice architecture adoption brings many advantages, but can add intricacy. Selecting the right orchestration tool is most important for business specific needs.
Learn how to find files with the shell using the find and locate commands. Use locate to find a needle in a haystack.: With locate, check if the file still exists.: Use find to get the actual location of the file.:
This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing of Data Protection Manager on a server running Windows Server 2012 R2, including the prerequisites. Microsoft .Net 3.5 is required. To install this feature, go to Server Manager…

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

9 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now