IPFire backup and restore system – quirks

  • Richard Y
    Post count: 3
    #172 |

    I’ve just installed IPFire 2.19 at the office I manage in Nigeria, and I’ve been trying out its backup and restore functions, as I’d heard they work much better than the IPCop equivalent.
    I found a quirk, but I also found out how to fix it, so I thought I would document it here.

    I wanted to use the backup function to set up a second identical IPFire install on identical hardware as a standby in case of emergency.

    After a fresh install and setup, in the GUI I went to System > Backup, selected Generate ISO and pressed the blue arrow below.
    After a few minutes the page showed me an .ipf file and an .iso file, called ipfire-2.19.i586-full-core102.iso.
    Every time I refreshed the page, the .iso file was bigger, so I left it until it stopped growing.
    After an hour or so, it had reached a stable 162MB – at which point a second, larger .iso file appeared, with a longer name including a timestamp at the end.
    The larger .iso file includes a backup of any system settings you have changed.

    I used the large .iso file to create a boot flash drive using Rufus, I connected it to the spare computer, and booted it. It went through the normal install routine, and after installing the system, it offered to restore the backup.
    I chose “Yes”, it rebooted to an IPFire console.
    I logged in (with the username and password from the backed up machine), ran setup and went to Networking.

    I found that it hadn’t retained any of the network settings – no problem, I put the settings in, being careful to assign the cards to the right interfaces.
    I swapped the original IPFire machine with the spare one to test it, and I noticed that the DHCP server wasn’t running. So I ran
    /etc/init/d/dhcp start
    from the console, and it reported “Starting DHCP Server… [OK]”.
    A few minutes later, the DHCP server stopped again.
    I found the only way to get the DHCP server to run stable was to disable DHCP (on both green and blue for good measure) from the web interface, save the setting, enable it again and save.

    So IPFire’s backup and restore is MUCH better than in IPCop, but be aware of the caveats above. I hope this helps someone.

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