Creating a Apple Time Machine on Debian Linux (Jessie)

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I fancied updating my Mac laptop to the latest beta so needed an easy way to back it up.

By far the easiest method I’ve found is to use Apples own “Time Machine” this can use a local USB disk, or a NAS.

In this case, we’ll make our Debian linux (Jessie) server into a Time Machine for this purpose.

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Vagrant

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I’ve been using Vagrant as part of my development process for about 6-8 months now. It makes it so much easier – I’m not too sure how I managed before!

I now include a Vagrantfile (it’s config) with every project/repo that I build.
Using this I can launch a box with a specific hardware/software configuration depending on the projects requirement.

I have a number of boxes which I’ve manually built and are hosted online. If I decide to make an update (upgrade php or mysql for example) the next time the local box is started it will automatically update from the hosted box. Neat huh?

Check out my Github repo for my debian web box: https://github.com/louisnorthmore/vagrant-debian-web

So what’s next? Well… coupled with Ansible I should be able to nail down my deployment process & remote server management for good.

Building a KVM host on Debian

As a continuing project I always love playing with virtulisation. This is some notes for installing and configuring KVM on Debian. Its mainly for my own reference, but if you find it useful please leave a comment!

1. Create a Debian ‘base system’ and fully update it. I use Debian stable, and a minimal install.

Hardware Requirements for KVM

KVM works best if your processor supports virtulisation extensions. It WILL still work if you dont, but dont expect any decent performance! Installations of virtual hosts are sometimes painfully slow without this!

I like my virtualmachines to get their own proper IP address from my LAN or be configured with a static. For this to work and get past the default NAT setup, you will need to setup a network bridge. Follow the link here: http://wiki.debian.org/BridgeNetworkConnections#Setting_up_your_Bridge on how to set that up.

2. Now you should have a fully patched and updated Debian system, we’re now going to install KVM:
apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin

Revisiting Virtulization

Its time to revisit virtulization. My home server homer is in dire need of some more diskspace, RAM and general cleaning up. It would probably help if the roles were split across a couple of VM’s. A bit of my development work requires a windows server or 2 and the rest, which is mainly web development is fine with running on Debian.

However, these days homer is showing his age. He is an old Dell, running only a P4 2.8 GHz chip. Hardware vitulization is not supported and previous attempts at running Vmware hasnt worked that well. I think its time to build a new server:

Requirements
1. Its got to be as quiet as possible (currently its in the bedroom, between our desks)
2. Low power consumption
3. Loads of diskspace (main house fileserver for movies) preferably in an LVM or maybe even some kind of RAID.
4. Enough RAM to run a few VM’s for various roles.
5. Low cost – its almost Xmas man!