wounded in the line of duty
I think the most robust way to do a mksysb-like tool for Linux would be to have the tool integrate into the vendor's installer utilities. For Red Hat (RHEL & Fedora), that would be Kickstart.
Step 1 -- Identify current partition layout of rootvg. This will usually include LVM, physical disk slicing, and mirroring (MD driver)layout.
Step 2 -- Generate a minimum kickstart file with this layout. The kickstart file should stop short of installing any packages.
Step 3 -- Instead of having a package section, have the kickstart file restore from a tar/cpio/dump format archive. This archive can be located on the boot CD/DVD image, or on the network (FTP, HTTP, or NFS mount point).
To get steps 2 & 3 working may require modifications to anaconda. I don't think the standard version lets you skip installing all packages, and even if it did then you still couldn't execute a post install script for step 3, since that would execute in a chroot environment on the system.
So my proposed modification to anaconda would be to allow for a "restore" section to take place of the "packages" section. It can then either take a parameter of where to restore the files from, or interactively prompt the user if not specified.
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