Message: previous - next
Month: March 2018

Re: [trinity-users] quick & dirty - installation & backup

From: "E. Liddell" <ejlddll@...>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 19:44:34 -0400
On Sun, 18 Mar 2018 06:09:53 -0700
William Morder <doctor_contendo@...> wrote:

> On Sunday 18 March 2018 05:24:01 William Morder wrote:
> > On Sunday 18 March 2018 05:02:19 E. Liddell wrote:
> > > On Sat, 17 Mar 2018 17:13:52 -0700
> > >
> > > William Morder <doctor_contendo@...> wrote:
> > > > I would be curious to know what are other people's methods. I've heard
> > > > about some net installations already.
> > >
> > > Well, my response was shock that anyone would actually have to do that
> > > much work to reinstall the software on an existing system!  I'd just
> > > issue something like "emerge --emptytree --keep-going world", go to bed,
> > > and expect 98% of everything to be resolved when I got back up in the
> > > morning. A Gentoo machine is always easier to recover than to restart
> > > from scratch (and yes, it's possible to switch out major parts of the
> > > infrastructure, like openrc <=> systemd and udev <=> eudev, without
> > > hosing everything or even having to reinstall any package that doesn't
> > > depend directly on the changed one).
> > >
> > > I kept my old system installation for twelve years (2005-2017), despite a
> > > major hardware refresh about midway through that period, and *never* had
> > > to start over from scratch.  And the only reason I didn't just image the
> > > old root partition onto a new drive when I set up my current machine over
> > > Christmas was that I figured it was time to get rid of all the leftover
> > > cruft from more than a decade of rolling updates.
> > >
> > > E. Liddell
> >
> Ah, but you are an actual geek, and you like this stuff. 

Guilty. ;)

>And I did say that 
> my method was dirty. The only reason I use computers at all is because I
> must; I build my own computers out of parts because I can't afford to buy
> anything; and I try to stick with GNU/Linux so that I can be sure that I
> really own my own computers.
> I've only been running Linux since about 2006, and mostly Kubuntu. Only in
> April of 2017 did I attempt Debian. Once I get a system more or less
> stable, I almost never need to do a full reinstallation. But then, I have
> pretty much taught myself, with the help of some Linux books, and
> researching the forums. And I only know one person in the real world (not
> online) who can actually offer guidance. Otherwise, most people think I am
> a computer freak, which I am not.
> If I ruled the world, we would all go back to horses and carts, or at least
> bicycles. I still say that this computer nonsense is just a passing fad,
> and sooner or later people will wake up.
> In the meanwhile, this is what I have to do to keep my computer running. I
> like what you say, and am always willing to bow before superior knowledge.
> If I could learn how to use your method on a Debian system, that would be
> great.
> If you can point me in the right direction, I am all ears.

Unfortunately, how I get away with what I do is kind of rooted in the way 
Gentoo's package manager works and how Gentoo, as a distro, differs from 
Debian (and they're just about as different as can be--Gentoo is a rolling-release
source-based distro that expects you to be at home with a command line and
lacks a graphical install tool).

A limited version of the same thing should be possible with any rolling-release
distro, but I'm not familiar with any Debian-based ones.
> P.S. How would you go about maintaining your computers if you sometimes are 
> forced to go for months at a stretch without an Internet connection? Right 
> now I have a fast, reasonably stable connection, but it hasn't always been 
> that way. I started saving packages to reinstall by dpkg so that I could keep 
> my system running even when I am offline. 
> I used to go to the library with my laptop, to use their connection; but then 
> I would download and save packages to be used in my desktop computer at home, 
> where there was no Internet. If there is a better strategy for survival in 
> those circumstances, I would love to hear it. 

I don't think there's any easy way to deal with that problem, unfortunately.  Among
the things I'd probably end up doing would be poking through the old distro-specific
software intended to minimize bandwidth use for dial-up users back in the day.
That, and manually pulling down certain types of files using a download manager
if the package manager couldn't handle things on its own.  That assumes that I would
have *some* kind of connection, just not a fast or stable one, though--dial-up
modem, tethered phone, whatever.  I've been doing this juuuust long enough to
remember how not-fun trying to update over dial-up was.

Gentoo's package manager keeps the files needed for a (re-)install of any package 
unless you purge them manually, and copying them around to multiple machines isn't 
a problem.  You can also fetch packages without installing if you pass the right flag.
The idea of having to explicitly set the system to keep stuff was part of what made 
me boggle.

E. Liddell