Best procedure for full backup of live system

Nerius Landys nlandys at
Fri Oct 16 00:42:02 UTC 2009

Thanks for your help guys.  I have decided to attempt the following.
With a filesystem snapshot, take a dump 0 of all filesystems.  Back up
these dumps to a 500GB disk I have sitting at home (the server I'm
backing up is in a data center).  Perform this maybe once a week or
once a month.

I am now looking at this:

For step 1, I'm a little unsure what they are talking about.  I assume
that to begin with I would do this:

  > bsdlabel ad4s1

Since that is my disk and it has one partition.

I would probably also want to do this:

  > dd if=/dev/ad4 of=MBR_backup bs=512 count=1

to back up the MBR, so I can recontruct the boot program and partition
table.  But they don't mention that in the Handbook.

Then it says to back up /etc/fstab, but I'm not quite sure how I'd use
this in a restore.

Lastly, it says save all boot messages.  Do they mean the output of
dmesg?  Why is this useful?

Of course I would complement all of these things with the actual dump
0 of all sectors on the primary partition of the single hard drive
that I have.

My server should boot fine with the FreeBSD CDROM (fixit), because it
uses a subset of the GENERIC kernel device drivers.  So I probably
don't need to pay attention to the instuctions talking about floppies.

Am I correct in all of this?

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