Backup - for server not just ~/ What do I actually need to do?

So, I have Scheduled backups running on “All Servers” which will be backing up the /home/ of the server. An incremental every day and full backup [including virtualmin/webmin settings] once a week. And I even know how to restore these!

BUT. . .

What about the server as an OS? I believe in keeping things up to date, so regular installs of new packages.

What if I do an update (this is for Ubuntu 12.04LTS) and something breaks? How do I roll back those updates? I assume I restore to my last backup, but what would I backup?

With Apple, nothing beats Time Machine, I can drop in a brand new hard drive, boot from the install disc and once the restore is complete I am exactly back where I was, all preferences, settings, even things like web history. It is really fantastic. I have not been able to replicate this with our linux laptop, nor do I have any idea for the server.

In my mind, even if I see updates are needed, to manually run a backup, then do updates, and backup again. So long as everything keeps working, carry on. But if the update broke something, restore to the previous backup.

Ideas? Thoughts? What do you do? Have any links to good how to articles?


There isn’t a simple rollback feature such as you’re describing.

However, you could always make backups of your config files, usually located in /etc, and if something goes awry, you could install the previous packages, and then restore the config files you had in there previously.

That said, updating packages usually goes pretty smoothly – but it certainly never hurts to be prepared!