Recovery Magic with Veeam Agent for Linux

This week the new Veeam Agent for Linux was released. It includes file level recovery but also bare metal recovery via a Live CD. If you just want to do a bare metal recovery it is fairly easy to use. But you can do more then just do a 1-to-1 restore. You also have the option to switch to the command line and change your recovered system before (re)booting into it.

You might wonder why? Well because it gives a lot of interesting opportunities. In this example, I have a Centos 7 Installation which I want to restore. However the system was running LVM and during the restore I decided to not restore the root as an LVM volume but rather directly to disk. Maybe the other way around would make more sense but it is just for the fun of showing you the chrooting process.

Basically, I did a full system recovery (restore whole) but just before restoring, I selected the LVM setup, deleted it and I restored the LVM volume directly back to /dev/sda2. Here is the result

I have a GIF here of the whole process but browser do not seem to like it. You can download it to see the whole setup

Because we altered the partitions the system will be unbootable. If you try to boot, you might see the kernel load but it will because it can not find it's filesystem. Here is for example a screenshot of such a system, that fails to boot because we did not correct for the changes made below. Again this is only when you change the partition setup drastically. If you do a straight restore, you can just reboot the system without any manual edits.

Once restored I went back to the main menu and selected switch to command line

Once we are there we need a couple of thing. Basically we will mount our new system and chroot into it. You can start by checking if your disk was correctly restored with "fdisk -l /dev/sda" for example. It shows you the layout which make it easier for the next commands. Execute the following commands but do adopt them for your system (you might have a different layout then I). Make sure to mount your root filesystem before any other system.

mkdir -p /chroot
mount /dev/sda2 /chroot
mount /dev/sda1 /chroot/boot
mount -t proc none /chroot/proc
mount -o bind /dev/ chroot/dev
mount -t sysfs sys /chroot/sys
chroot /chroot

The output should be your systems shell

Ok so we are in the shell. For Centos 7 we have to do 2 things. First change /etc/fstab and second of all update the grub2 config. Fstab is quite straight forward. Use "vi /etc/fstab" to edit the file with VI. Then update the line that mounts your root "/". In my case I had to change "/dev/mapper/centos-root" to "/dev/sda2"

Now we have to update grub2 (and this is why we actually need the chroot). Use "vi /etc/default/grub" to edit the default grub config. Then  remove rd.lvm.lv=centos/root. Here are before and after screenshot. If you are going the other way, you might have to add LVM detection



Now we need to still apply the default by using "grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg"

Now exit the chroot by typing "exit". Then unmount all the (pseudo)filesystems we have mounted earlier and you are ready to reboot. You can use "mount" without arguments to check the mounted filesystems. Make sure to umount "/chroot" as the last one

umount /chroot/proc
umount /chroot/sys
umount /chroot/dev
umount /chroot/boot
umount /chroot

Now reboot and see your system transformed. You can just type "exit" to go back to the "GUI" interface and reboot from there or just type reboot directly from the command line