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Re: [linux-lvm] Keep snapshots active for 24 hours?


While the concept of a writeable LVM is cool, I believe LVM operates a low enough level that the migrations you speak of is impossible at the LVM level (in the kernel). There could be filesystem level utilities, but the LVM is really nothing more then a blank harddisk partition. Harddisks shouldn't know a thing about files, directories, or filesystems in general. It would be cool to have an filesystem diff, but on a live filesystem that could be quite tricky. Essentially, that would be a differential backup utility.

A writeable LVM would solve the problem of taking a snapshot of a journalling filesystem. Somebody recently wrote in with a problem with ReiserFS that when he mounted the snapshot it kept giving him an error that the journal couldn't be rolled forward as it was mounted read only. I am not sure if ReiserFS works okay with this or not, but the error is because there is uncommitted changes in the journal, no commits allowed because its read-only.

It would be nice to essentially get a chance to install software in a controlled manner and once your sure it is working then roll it forward. About the only issue I can see with that is having something that you install on /usr (which you took a snapshot of), that has to write to /etc which might take some trickery to get to be written to a snapshotted version of /etc. The only thing I can think of off hand is to snapshot / and all the other filesystems, then mount the snap shot of / on /myChrootJail then chroot to that and mount all of the various snapshots under that system. All of this would work, but when you got done with the install you would have to do it all on the live device system. The only usefulness I can imagine for that is if you are a scripting god and script it all up in the play environment and then do the real deal using the scripts you developed or as a dry practice run of an install. Would be handy in a very controlled environment where repeatability is of the utmost importance.

Okay so for the highly far fetched, it would be fun to tinker with this where you chroot jailed everybody in that environment that ssh'ed in, so some foolish hacker could break into the box, screw up a snapshot and then you just refresh the snapshot. It would be fun to use in a honeypot situation.


Wolfgang Weisselberg wrote:

Hi, Steve!

Steve Wray (steve wray the net nz) wrote 70 lines:

- take a snapshot, install something or try something out
that might break something, then restore *directly* from
the snapshot if anything goes wrong; without having to actually
back it up to media and restore it.

Even better would be writable snapshots for that: - make a snapshot of (everything where the install writes to
- install the program
- test it on the snapshot
- junk the snapshot if the install is bad

and, of course, you might want to migrate changes from the
snapshot to the original FS (or vice versa).  That however
is a second feature.  Until then you'd have to do the install
all over again -- once we actually get writable shnapshots.


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