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Remastering an installation system

A backup is best considered as being in two parts. One is your system and the other is your data. A system backup needs to be in the form of a bootable media that can re-install your system with all of its settings and applications. Remastersys is a utility that does this and looking at how it works can help better understand what it takes to make a bootable media. Here are some of the Linux utilities used by Remastersys for a system backup and some of the documentation available to understand what these utilities do.

SYSLINUX – The Easy-to-use Linux Bootloader – this is the connection between the machine BIOS boot software and the Linux Kernel

SQUASHFS – A squashed read-only filesystem for Linux
– this is a means to store all of your system in a compressed form so it takes up less room on the backup media.

UnionFS – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
– this is the means to allow writing to a read only file system. It does this by writing to somewhere writable and then merging that with the read only file system.

Introducing initramfs, a new model for initial RAM disks
– this is the media built into the kernal used to hold the programs and instructions needed to mount the hardware used by the system and get the system set up and ready to go.

Ubuntu — ubiquity-casper
– this is the system installation utility for Ubuntu.

LiveCDCustomizationFromScratch – Community Ubuntu Documentation
– a description of the process used to build a live CD

Jesse Caulfield » Unwrapping the Ubuntu Live CD
– a step by step guide to taking apart a live CD so you can see what is in it and how it is built.

How to create a custom Ubuntu distro – It’s My Life
– a walkthrough of the steps required.

How-to: Installing Ubuntu Linux on a usb pendrive | Debian/Ubuntu Tips & Tricks 
– a tutorial :: Discover the possibilities of the /proc folder
– Finding out about the processes on your system and using that to learn about what is going on with your system

Creating Custom Ubuntu Live-CD With Remastersys — Ubuntu Geek
– Here’s how to install and use this utility that will make media images of your system easy.

5 Free Linux Backup Solutions
– for the other half, the data half, of your backup.

Tectonic » Clone Linux, Windows disks with Clonezilla
– this creates an image copy of your existing media. It is another form of backup from the file based backup that the other methods discussed here use.

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