2.8. System

2.8.1. Backup Copy of the System Areas

The YaST backup module enables you to create a backup of your system. The backup created by the module does not include the entire system. It only saves information about changed packages and copies of critical storage areas and configuration files.

Define the kind of data to save in the backup. By default, the backup includes information about any packages changed since the last installation. In addition, it may include data that does not belong to packages themselves, such as many of the configuration files in /etc or the directories under /home. Apart from that, the backup can include important storage areas on your hard disk that may be crucial when trying to restore a system, such as the partition table or the master boot record (MBR).

2.8.2. Restoring the System

The restore module, shown in Figure 2.17. “Start Window of the Restore Module”, enables restoration of your system from a backup archive. Follow the instructions in YaST. Press Next to proceed to the individual dialogs. First, specify where the archives are located (removable media, local hard disks, or network file systems). A description and the contents of the individual archives are displayed, enabling you to decide what to restore from the archives.

Additionally, there is a dialogs for uninstalling packages that were added since the last backup and one for reinstalling packages that were deleted since the last backup. These two steps enable you to restore the exact system state at the time of the last backup.

[Warning]System Restoration

Because this module normally installs, replaces, or uninstalls many packages and files, use it only if you have experience with backups. Otherwise you may lose data.

Figure 2.17. Start Window of the Restore Module

Start Window of the Restore Module

2.8.3. Creating a Boot, Rescue, or Module Disk

Use this YaST module to create boot disks, rescue disks, and module disks. These floppy disks are helpful if the boot configuration of your system is damaged. The rescue disk is especially necessary if the file system of the root partition is damaged. In this case, you might also need the module disk with various drivers to be able to access the system (for example, to access a RAID system).

Figure 2.18. Creating a Boot, Rescue, or Module Disk

Creating a Boot, Rescue, or Module Disk

The following options are available:

Standard Boot Disk

Use this option to create a standard boot disk with which to boot an installed system. This disk is also needed for starting the rescue system.

Rescue Disk

This disk contains a special environment that allows you to perform maintenance tasks in your installed system, such as checking and repairing the file system and updating the boot loader. To start the rescue system, boot with the standard boot disk then select Manual Installation+Start Installation or System+Rescue System. You will then be prompted to insert the rescue disk. If your system was configured to use special drivers (such as RAID or USB), you might need to load the drivers from a module disk.

Module Disks

Module disks contain additional system drivers. The standard kernel only supports IDE drives. If the drives in your system are connected to special controllers (such as SCSI), load the needed drivers from a module disk. If you select this option and click Next, a dialog opens for creating various module disks.

The following module disks are available:

USB Modules

This floppy disk contains the USB modules you might need if USB drives are connected.

IDE, RAID, and SCSI Modules

Because the standard kernel only supports normal IDE drives, you need this module disk if you use special IDE controllers. Furthermore, all RAID and SCSI modules are provided on this disk.

Network Modules

If you need access to a network, load the suitable driver module for your network card.

PCMCIA, CD-ROM (non-ATAPI), FireWire, and File Systems

This floppy disk contains all PCMCIA modules used especially for laptop computers. Furthermore, the modules for FireWire and some less common file systems are available here. Older CD-ROM drives that do not comply with the ATAPI standard can also be operated with drivers from this floppy disk.

To load drivers from a module disk to the rescue system, select Kernel Modules (hardware drivers) and the desired module category (SCSI, ethernet, etc.). You are prompted to insert the required module disk and the modules contained are then listed. Select the desired module. Watch the system messages carefully: Loading module <modulename> failed indicates that the hardware could not be recognized by the module. Some older drivers require specific parameters to be able to address the hardware correctly. In this case, refer to the documentation of your hardware.

User-Defined Disk

Use this to write any existing floppy disk image from the hard disk to a floppy disk.

Download Disk Image

With this, enter a URL and authentication data to download a floppy disk image from the Internet.

To create one of these floppy disks, select the corresponding option and click Next. Insert a floppy disk when prompted. If you click Next again, the floppy disk is created.

2.8.4. LVM

The logical volume manager (LVM) is a tool for custom partitioning of hard disks with logical drives. More information about LVM is available in 3.10. “LVM Configuration”.

2.8.5. Partitioning

Although it is possible to modify the partitions in the installed system, this should be handled by experts. Otherwise the risk of losing data is very high. If you decide to use this tool, refer to the description in 1.5.4. “Partitioning” (the partitioning tool during the installation is the same as in the installed system).

2.8.6. Profile Manager (SCPM)

The SCPM (system configuration profile management) module offers the possibility of creating, managing, and switching among system configurations. This is especially useful for mobile computers that are used in different locations (in different networks) and by different users. Nevertheless, this feature is useful even for stationary machines, because it enables the use of various hardware components or test configurations. For more information about SCPM basics and handling, refer to 15. System Configuration Profile Management.

2.8.7. Runlevel Editor

SUSE LINUX can be operated in several runlevels. By default, the system boots to runlevel 5, which offers multiuser mode, network access, and the graphical user interface (X Window System). The other runlevels offer multiuser mode with network but without X (runlevel 3), multiuser mode without network (runlevel 2), single-user mode (runlevel 1 and S), system halt (runlevel 0), and system reboot (runlevel 6).

The various runlevels are useful if problems are encountered in connection with a particular service (X or network) in a higher runlevel. In this case, the system can be booted to a lower runlevel to repair the service. Many servers operate without a graphical user interface and must be booted in a runlevel without X, such as runlevel 3.

Usually you only need the standard runlevel (5). However, if the graphical user interface freezes at any time, you can restart the X Window system by switching to a text console with Ctrl-Alt-F1, logging in as root, and switching to runlevel 3 with the command init 3. This shuts down your X Window System, leaving you with a text console. To restart the graphical system, enter init 5.

For more information about the runlevels in SUSE LINUX and a description of the YaST runlevel editor, refer to 10. The SUSE LINUX Boot Concept.

2.8.8. Sysconfig Editor

The directory /etc/sysconfig contains the files with the most important settings for SUSE LINUX. The sysconfig editor displays all settings in a well-arranged form. The values can be modified and saved to the individual configuration files. Generally, manual editing is not necessary, because the files are automatically adapted when a package is installed or a service is configured. More information about /etc/sysconfig and the YaST sysconfig editor is available in 10. The SUSE LINUX Boot Concept.

2.8.9. Time Zone Selection

The time zone was already set during the installation, but you can make changes here. Click your country or region in the list and select Local time or GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). GMT is often used in Linux systems. Machines with additional operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, mostly use local time.

2.8.10. Language Selection

Here, select the language for your Linux system. The language selected in YaST applies to the entire system, including YaST and the desktop environment.