Re-installing a seriously ill Linode

My Linode, after 2+ years of running happily suddenly died for no apparent reason. Rebooting it and logging in to the console just left me with a shell prompt, with only the basis of Linux loaded (no ssh, no apache). I'd been thinking for a while that it was time for a rebuild, the problem was that with a dead Linode I had no way of getting my data off.

As I found, the Linode control panel has some useful tools to help:

1) Using the control panel I shutdown the Linode and resized the disk to give myself 500mb of free space available.

2) In this 500mb of spare disk space I created an ext3 disk image, under 'configuration profiles' I then assigned this to become '/dev/ubdc'.

3) Booting up the Linode and logging into the shell prompt via the host console I mounted this (mount /dev/ubdc /mnt)

4) I then copied everything that needed to be retrieved to /mnt - the second disk image

5) Finally I shut down the Linode, removed the configuration profile (leaving the second disk image), then created a new configuration profile from scratch.

6) Mounting /dev/ubdc into the new Linode I then copied back the data.

I've still no idea why the original Linode went wrong, though suffice to say it was much faster to re-install than to fix it. Hope these pointers help somebody else in the same predicament.

Of course, there is no substitute for having off-site backups!

2 Replies

Sounds to me like you had your initial Linode to boot into Single user mode, and or booted with the "init=/bin/bash" option.



Sounds to me like you had your initial Linode to boot into Single user mode, and or booted with the "init=/bin/bash" option.


Yes, I found this button in the control panel once I'd re-installed. I've no idea why it suddenly reverted to this mode though. Still, re-install worked wonders, apt is now working properly again and the machine is much faster.

I thought my experiences of copying the data onto a second disk might help somebody else out, hence the post.

Thanks Chris


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