Operating System ARCHIVER
"The program that should have been
included with your operating system"

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A Deficiency
Most any pre-installed computer  comes complete with a "restore" CD or DVD. Since most Linux systems are not pre-installed, there is no tradition of a restore procedure, other than to rebuild from the distribution.

Linux users have sometimes been amazed by MicroSoft users having to completely rebuild their systems, as the solution to almost any problem. Maybe because Linux systems are less likely to need such drastic corrections, Linux distributions have lacked the means to easily perform them.  

But clearly, being able to perform a convenient disaster recovery restoration is very desirable, and various programs have been written to provide such functionality. Until your Linux distribution includes an integral disaster recovery capability, you'll probably want to seek out a program that can create recovery disks. osarchiver is one such program.

Some disaster recovery programs install, or require the installation of, non-native software. osarchiver relies on the source computer's own operating system to perform the work of creating the archive. Currently, osarchiver works only on RedHat-ish installations, and fortunately, all but "minimal" installs include the utilities necessary to osarchiver. Only one additional RPM (mkisofs) need be added for osarchiver to run even on "minimal" installs.
osarchiver is a compact program.  Even so, it achieves a substantial level of functionality.

The key features may be summarized:

1)  Multiple Version Compatibility.  osarchiver has been tested on RedHat distributions from RedHat 9 to current Enterprise / Centos, and Fedora versions.

2)  Multi-Volume Capability.  In those cases where a restore set will not fit on a single  CD / DVD, osarchiver creates multiple CDs or DVDs.

3)  Parallel Compression.  If the computer being backed up has multiple processors, osarchiver will run faster, by using all of the system's processors to compress the archive.

4)  Hardware Flexibility.  All available IDE and SCSI kernel module drivers are utilized to provide for the greatest flexibility in hardware.  If the source computer had its system on a SCSI device, but the utilized target system has an IDE drive, osarchiver should be able to deal with it.  If the source system has the appropriate kernel modules, so that it could, just as well, have been configured to run on the hardware of the restore system, osarchiver should build the restore system to a state where it can be booted and further configured to accommodate that hardware.
Quickstart Guide
Safely Locked Away
1)  Download the newest version of osarchiver from sourceforge to the source computer.

2)  unzip the downloaded zip file.

3)  Run osarchiver to create CD / DVD image(s).

4)  Burn the images to CD(s) / DVD(s).

5)  Boot the CD(s) / DVD(s) from a test system, and answer the questions--for most, just hit "Enter."

6)  The test system should be a bootable duplicate of the source computer.  Examine the test computer to ensure it can serve as a stand-in for the source computer.  If you are satisfied, the created restore disk(s) can be saved for a future restore--either of the original source computer, or of a stand-in.

So use osarchiver to create an archive of a freshly built and configured system, or to create an archive of a highly tuned and integrated system, or to create an archive of an old and crufty system that you're just not prepared to upgrade yet.

NOTE:  This web page is under construction, but since I hope that some information is better than none, it has been uploaded for your viewing pleasure.
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Copyright © 2006 Integrity Networking Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
osarchiver was originally conceived, written,
and provided to the open source community
by Integrity Linux, a division of Integrity Networking,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
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