LiveBackup (a framework to create bootable live-ISO's from installed Linux systems)
LiveBackup is a framework to create live-cd's from installed Linux
systems. It supports different hardware detection systems and
provides user configuration separated from backup images.
the project page for more details.
Copyright (c) 2004 Wolfgang Rohrmoser
LiveBackup is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published
by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.1 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but
WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU
Lesser General Public License for more details.
A copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License is included in the
LiveBackup doc directory LICENCE.txt. If you did not receive this
copy, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place,
Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.
Configuring a Linux system to meet all your personal needs is a time
consuming task. Once you are satisfied you may save your work as a
Backup. The framework of LiveBackup gives you several ways to use
your backup as a live system bootable from CD/DVD drives. Three
example scenarios are:
- Run your system on the same PC-hardware, now using a DVD instead of the
hard disk. Connecting to Internet now is absolute save. If you want to
access/store files you still can mount your hard disk.
- You can easily share your configuration work with others. This is
especially useful for notebook hardware.
- You can run your personalized Linux on all hardware which is
supported by recent hardware detection systems.
- Your Linux system can be stored in a compressed archive.
Supported formats are squashfs, compressed cloop image (using isofs or ext2)
or a simple file copy of the directory structure.
To recover files you simple mount your archive.
- Your backup is bootable as a live system. You can run it on native
hardware (where your original system is installed) or on other PC's
using hardware detection.
- LiveBackup supports selection between different kernel versions. If
you run the Live-System on the native Hardware you may want to use
your customized kernel. If you start your system on other hardware
you better use one of the provided generic Linux kernels.
- Hardware detection is modularized and runs from initrd. There is
no need to install special packages to use it. Different hardware
identification system are supported (libkuzu, libdiscover).
- It is possible to configure/modify the live system without any need
to change the backup archive. This is the main task you probably
have to do once when you create your LiveBackup.
- LiveBackup contains support for different storage media like CD, DVD,
USB-sticks or network drives
- It provides a directory structure which helps you to maintain
different system images which you may support on a Live-DVD.
- It provides a development environment for creating your
LiveBackup. This includes logging and a shell prompt after
system setup. You can check your setup before the sysV init boot
- Testing of your ISO images prior to burning works using a PC emulation
like qemu (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/).
How booting of a LiveBackup ISO image works
- The boot manager (grub) starts and provides a rich set of
options. User selects which backup image he wants to run and
if the system needs hardware detection.
- The Linux kernel starts and launches the /linuxrc script in
the init ram disk for the following tasks
- mount the backup image
- create ram disks and setup the directory structure to have all
necessary files writable. The current version supports choices
to use the overlay filesystem unionfs or to setup the device
mapper snapshot target. Using one of these techniques provides
full write support to the filesystem.
- user configuration to modify the backup image where
it is necessary.
- optionally run hardware detection
- The Linux kernel continues with the standard system boot
1. Whats different to other Live-CD's (KNOPPIX, ..) ?
A: LiveBackup is not a distribution, it is a more general approach to
create Live Cd's based on any distribution. KNOPPIX hardware
detection can be used but it is separated from the Linux
distribution. The user does not need to install special packages
before doing the backup.
2. Can you use it for remastering ?
A: You get your own personal live-backup with your applications. Besides,
the framework can also be used for remastering any other (live) distribution.
Links to related projects and information