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Re: [vox-tech] rsync as an installation / update tool
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Re: [vox-tech] rsync as an installation / update tool

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Yeah, rsync -essh is way cool.  

The only problems I can think of would arise if you had different hardware or 
different glibc on the different machines, so that executables wouldn't be.

Also, probably you want /var in the exclude list.  Maybe I'm just the nervous 
type, but I'd be worried about just copying over /lib/modules in this way, 

By the way, I have found unison (http://www.cis.upenn.edu/~bcpierce/unison/) 
to be an extremely useful and easy-to-use file synchronizer and a good 
supplement to rsync.  It supports ssh too.  I use it for /home stuff, not 
anything above that.


> First, let me rave about rsync.  It is easy to use, very fast, and can 
> be used directly with ssh, another favorite tool of mine.  I first 
> started to use it to back up my laptop's home directory onto a desktop, 
> like this:
> $rsync -vax -e ssh --exclude=mnt/ --exclude=some_file --delete-excluded 
> /home username@desktop:/path_to_backup_folder
> I put this one line in a script for ease of use.  If many exclusions are 
> desired, a list can be put in a text file to be read by rsync.
> This week I got a wild idea to use rsync as a means of "installing" and 
> "updating" gentoo linux on computers with similar (but not identical) 
> hardware.  I have 4 Pentium3 boxes that I use for engineering 
> simulations.  I had installed gentoo linux on one computer a couple 
> months ago, but the others had RedHat 9.  I love gentoo, but I didn't 
> want to spend hours converting them all if I could avoid it.  So my idea 
> was to wipe redhat, re-partition the drive (if necessary), install the 
> _basic_ stage3 gentoo install using the "livecd", and rsync over 
> everything else from the computer with gentoo already installed.  Here 
> is the rsync command I used:
> #rsync -va -e ssh --exclude-from=exclude_file --delete-after 
> root@gentoo_computer:/ /
> exclude_file
> ------------
> dev/
> home/
> mnt/
> proc/
> root/
> sys/
> etc/fstab
> etc/X11/XF86Config
> etc/hostname
> etc/hosts
> etc/conf.d/net
> boot/grub/grub.conf
> Since I have different video cards and different partition schemes, I 
> have to configure XF86Config, fstab, and grub.conf manually.  But almost 
> everything else copies over and works automatically, such as firewall, 
> ntp, and logrotate settings.  Now I just need to download and compile 
> updates for one computer, and then use the same rsync command to update 
> the other 3.
> So far, I have been successful with one computer and am waiting to see 
> if any bugs appear before doing the other 2.  Any comments?  Are there 
> any potential pitfalls to maintaining computers this way?
- -- 
Aaron A. King
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Tennessee
GPG Public Key: 6ABA0716
Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)


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