Annotation of wikisrc/tutorials/how_to_use_snapshots.mdwn, revision 1.2

1.1       jdf         1: # How to use snapshots with NetBSD
1.2     ! sevan       3: Snapshots using [[!template id=man name="fss" section="4"]] aren't a new thing in NetBSD, they have been supported 
1.1       jdf         4: since NetBSD 2.0. But their concept and usage is rather unintuitive from what 
                      5: you might know from other snapshotting mechanisms such as zfs', so here is a 
                      6: tutorial on how to use them.
                      8: ## What is a snapshot?
                     10: A snapshot is a consistent view on a filesystem at a certain point in time.
                     11: This means, you take a snapshot of a filesystem, then create a new file or 
                     12: change an existing one, and if you look at the snapshot, it will show you the 
                     13: old version of the file or the directory without this file.
                     15: ## What is a snapshot not?
                     17: A snapshot is no filesystem versioning! Snapshots by fss are read-only 
                     18: *views*, and you cannot revert the filesystem back to a snapshot without 
                     19: copying all the files on filesystem layer. You can only mount the 
                     20: snapshot to see what the filesystem looked like back then, but not more.
                     22: ## How to create snapshots?
                     24: Snapshots are configured using the tool fssconfig(8). To create a 
                     25: snapshot, you have to enter the snapshot device you want to use 
                     26: (`/dev/fssX`), the filesystem you want to snapshot and the place of the 
                     27: snapshot file (which can even lie on the filesystem it is snapshotting). 
                     28: So, if you want to create a snapshot of filesystem `/`, you would e.g. 
                     29: enter:
                     31:     # fssconfig -c fss0 / /root/backup
                     33: Then you get a snapshot in `/root/backup`. You can then mount that 
                     34: snapshot somewhere, and in that mount, you have a view of the filesystem 
                     35: at the point of creating the snapshot:
                     37:     # mount /dev/fss0 /mnt
                     39: When you are done with the snapshot, you unmount it and unconfigure the snapshot:
                     41:     # umount /dev/fss0
                     42:     # fssconfig -u fss0
                     44: ## How to use snapshots?
                     46: To use a snapshot, you just configure it again with the same parameters 
                     47: as the first time, but now without creating it:
                     49:     # fssconfig fss0 / /root/backup
                     50:     # mount /dev/fss0 /mnt
                     52: If you want to use the snapshot only once, you can use the option `-x` 
                     53: when creating it. Then the snapshot will only be available for this one 
                     54: single time, and is deleted afterwards.
                     56:     # fssconfig -cx fss0 / /root/backup
                     58: ## Usage example
                     60: What is this even good for if I can't even write to it?
                     61: You can use it e.g. for saving files before doing an upgrade or other 
                     62: critical changes. When the upgrade goes wrong, you just have to copy 
                     63: back the files from the snapshot to the real filesystem.
                     65: So, all in all, an example of how to use a snapshot to save and rescue a 
                     66: system:
                     68:     # fssconfig -c fss0 / /root/backup
                     69:        # fssconfig -u fss0
                     70:        # rm /etc/rc.conf
                     71:        # shutdown -r now
                     72:        [...system will not start again, but drop you to a single-user shell...]
                     73:        # mount -o rw /
                     74:        # fssconfig -x fss0 / /root/backup # The snapshot will be deleted afterwards.
                     75:        # mount /dev/fss0 /mnt
                     76:        # cp /mnt/etc/rc.conf /etc/rc.conf
                     77:        # shutdown -r now
                     78:        [be happy about the login prompt again]

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