Like many other things in the Linux world, the ease with which you can do a bare-metal recovery will depend on your configuration. If you are running Linux on an Intel-based system, have a parallel-port Zip drive, and can fit a compressed copy of your operating system on that Zip drive, you’re in luck! That’s the configuration I used to test this recovery procedure.
Chances are, of course, that your configuration is slightly different than this. If you are running Linux on an Intel-based system, this procedure will work for you without modification. If you’re running Linux on a Sparc system, you will need to use a different boot floppy and silo instead of lilo. If you are using an Alpha version of Linux, your options are a bit more complicated.
Most Linux administrators are familiar with the typical bare-metal recovery answer: install a minimal operating system and recover on top of it. However, this answer presents the same problems for Linux systems that it does for other versions of Unix—it takes too long, you could run into open-file conflicts, and it is difficult to document and recover operating system customizations.
Like the other bare-metal recovery procedures in this book, this procedure does not require a reinstallation of the operating system in order to recover it. It is based on a homegrown procedure, which breaks down into six major steps, and will work with any Intel-based Linux distribution:
Back up the important metadata.
Back up the ...