On restores and migrations

Hi all,

I am re-evaluating my backups strategies and taking an insight of NS’s procedures. For that I’ve been searching the forum and Docs, and find some details a bit fuzzy.

The scenario I will most likely be in is this: Having recent config backups of a server and wanting to restore them in a different one (either because the original is un-reparable or because I take the oportunity for a version upgrade).

With that in mind, I have these questions based on the referenced Docs:

Config backup contents.


Does the “configuration backup” include every module’s settings and it’s non-user data?
I mean the “little things”, like this:

  • for OpenVPN the server settings and users access,
  • for Sogo the preferences set by the users while excluding the mailboxes contents (we use it only as a shared calendar)
  • the ftp accounts…

Installed Packages.

I am under the impression that restoring to a fresh system that does not have the same modules already installed can become a bit troublesome… Does the backup generate a list of modules that I could use to “prepare” a new server for a smotth restoration? What is expected to happen if a module is not available in a newer NS version?

About the product upgrade procedure.


Each file under /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/ must be manually checked for compatibility with version 7. [1]

Do not reboot the machine before executing the restore-data procedure. [2]

In this context, I assume that “manually check” basically means “be ready to having to edit the config files in unpredictable ways as the situation requires it”, am I right?

If no “data” is being restored that warning can be ignored, right?


Sorry to hear that :frowning: I struggled to reorganize the content, but it seems it’s not god enough.
If you have any idea on how to improve it, please share it! :slight_smile:


Yes, the list is saved inside /var/lib/nethserver/backup/package-list.
But the system will automatically reinstall everything if you enable “Reinstall packages” option during the restore.

Yes, but if you already manually created some custom templates. The vast majority of users don’t even need think about it :wink:
IIRC there should be no big template change between 7.6 and 7.7.

Usually yes, but please follow the documented procedure for the safest path :slight_smile:


Ciao Giacomo!

Thank you for you quick reply.

Don´t get me wrong, I do think the project Docs´s are quite good and organized. Kudos for the good work to those in charge of it.

If anything, I would say that the backup/restore procedures could be expanded with more detail.
The information about "all of the modules´ settings", the “automatic reinstallation of packages”, and a link to the “Product Upgrade Procedures” seem to me like valuable additions to the topic.

(Those are GREAT functions, by the way!)

Even if some of that seems redundant, when we users are in doubt (maybe because we read some forum post about someone´s troubles) finding some details explicited in the docs becomes reassuring.

Now, back on the subject:
Is it safe to assume that the upgrade process takes into consideration the chance that it might be upgrading a configuration from a version that differs (perhaps a lot) from the available version to install?
I would guess that is one of the main reasons of the whole “templates system”?..

Thanks again.

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I migrated a firewall from old hardware to new hardware

Hope it helps…

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Michael, thanks for sharing that, it’s definitively something to consider…

Yeah, package difference is something always worries me a lot. In fact, I’ve kind of decided that unless it is absolutely necessary, any future deploy will be VM based, so I can remotely take a full image before any serious config change.

I am not talking about Nethserver en particular but about service providing software in general.

That being said, in the past I have done some big updates on NS and they did work pout fine.