ports and disaster recovery

Tom Worster fsb at thefsb.org
Thu Dec 18 21:53:36 UTC 2008

i'm thinking about how to prepare for disaster recovery, e.g. a disk fails
and is replaced, on a server in a group of remote servers.

assume that policy and procedures are in place to keep freebsd up to date
and portmaster is used to keep ports up to date.

my idea is to use portmaster -gt at initial setup so that reconfiguration
and compilation of the ports can be avoided. backups of /usr/ports/packages
would be kept on each server in the group so they can be quickly copied back
to the repaired server with the new disk.

what, if any, other data besides the package .tbz files do i need backup and
restore to get installed ports back to baseline? is anything from /var/db

and what about the order of tasks in the restore?

1. datacenter staff install freebsd X.Y-RELEASE from CD
then i remotely :
2. freebsd-update
3. restore the packages from neighboring server in the group
4. install ports from the packages with pkg_add
5. restore application, local config files and resume service
6. portsnap and all the remaining tidy up

or does 6 need to go before 4?

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