31 Oct 2000 GJF   » (Apprentice)

I've been working on a backup system for a client - it works like this:

In an all NT environment I need to backup hard-drives onto a server. The hard drives are NTFS and not configured for network access. I'm working on getting a Linux installation working that will read the disk and use either Samba or ftp to copy the data onto the NT server.

I think I'm almost there. I've been amazed by what Linux can do. I'm hoping to:

  • Boot from (a diskette image) on CD... I've never made a bootable CD before.
  • Load the linux root partition from a disk image on the CD - using the loopback device (and ramdisks for writable directories like /var)
  • Mount the NTFS format hard drive, then smbmount the server share. Then tar/gzip the data onto the server
  • Examine the tar archive to make sure everything is OK before writing a new disk image over the old NTFS drive using Norton Ghost.

So far I have a bootable mini-linux with all the necessary features (NTFS, loopback, SMB, network card driver) compiled into the kernel. Just need to get the networking scripts written. Then move the boot diskette onto a CD.

I'm impressed by the loopback device, I didn't know about it until I started on this. I kind of like rolling my own kernel too - but working out what files I need to run Linux is kind of difficult.

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