Alpine Linux LBU


Alpine Linux has a cool feature called LBU that lets you create a backup on top of the Live ISO. These backups are called local backups.

I plan on using LBU as a system maintenance drive. It allows you to save changes you make to the Live ISO and restore them automatically when you boot the next time.

To set up LBU I booted the Alpine Linux ISO, ran setup-alpine, mounted my drive to /media/alpine_usb and when I got to the disk selection I selected no disk, and alpine_usb as where to store the configs, and the default for cache.

Now when I make changes in the Alpine Linux Live ISO I can commit them.

To see what is being committed I first check lbu status which lists all the files being added or removed, then lbu commit to commit the changes.

When I was rebooting I had an issue where the drive would automount itself to /media/sdb and then wouldn’t work with lbu when I wanted to commit or check the status because it was already mounted. To fix this I just had to umount /dev/sdb on boot and then lbu worked as expected.

To use cache you have to mount it to /media/alpine_usb so that it can write the cache files when you’re installing packages. I want this because it makes reinstalling my packages on reboot a lot faster, they can just be loaded from cache instead of from online repositories.

Upon reboot I had to reinstall all the packages I had installed using apk upgrade but since the cache is there it just installs everything really quickly.

I uncommented and changed the number of backups in /etc/lbu/lbu.conf to 20 so that I would be able to revert up to 20 commits in case I broke my configs.

I see Alpine LBU as a good way to keep a backup of changes to the ISO so it could be used as a system recovery disk with the tools that are needed.