Lanart Business Server
Integrated server for small business


One of the main goal of AoE LiveCD is making backup. All you need is a PC that will be used as dedicated AoE server (target). In the simplest case you can just boot a PC from a CD and export one of partitions, but I will show you a way to install Linux on hard disk, so you should not write nothing on the command line next time you boot a PC.

  • Boot a PC from AoE LiveCD.

  • Login as root with password toor

  • Partition a hard drive. For example if you use new IDE drive which was never partitioned (hda - primary master, hdb -primary slave, hdc - secondary master, hdd - secondary slave. For SATA and SCSI drives names will be sda, sdb, sdc etc.):

# fdisk /dev/hda

'n' - to create new partition
'p' - primary partition
'1' - to say that it will be the first partition
'1' - start from the first sector
'1024M' - to make a partition of 1 GB

'n' - to create the second partition
'p' - primary partition
'2' - to say that it will be the second partition
accept the default value of the first sector of the partition,
accept the default value, so the partition will use all the rest of your HD.

Now if you want to use your AoE server with Linux you should do nothing else. Just press w to write a partition table. If you want to use your server with Windows then type:

't' - to change a partition type
'2' - to select a second partition
'7' - to select NTFS partition type

'w' - to write new partition table.
  • Format the first partition:

# mkfs.xfs /dev/hda1
  • Install Linux on hard disk. Attention! This operation will rewrite muster boot record (MBR):

# /boot/ /dev/hda1
  • That's all, now you should reboot and start your PC from hard drive.

  • Login as root with password toor.

  • Export the second partition:

# vbladectl start hda2

That's all you should do on server. The next time you can boot without keyboard and monitor - you don't need them anymore. To shutdown just press on/off button and if your PC supports ACPI it should shutdown correctly.


Connect PC's. I strongly reccomend to use 1GbE network as 100Mb network will create a bottleneck. It is also can be usefull to remember that most of 1GbE network adapters have MDIX capabilities, so you can use a normal patch cord without need for a switch to connect your computers.

Windows users should get a client program written by Rocket Division Software. There is a trial version of a program so you can test everything. After installing the program you will see the second partition of the first PC as local drive and you will be able to format it in NTFS. For automating backup process I use EZBackitup but this depends on your personal choice.

Mac users should get driver from 2 Degree Frost Software. I don't find any trial version, so I was not able to try it.

Linux users should verify that they have aoe support compiled in kernel as module. Verify if it is loaded:

# lsmod | grep aoe

You should see something like this:

aoe                    23040  0

If you see nothing, then try to insert aoe module:

# modprobe aoe

and control again if it has been inserted.

Now if you have modules inserted and aoetools installed you should see AoE target as local block device:

# aoe-stat
      e0.0         4.104GB   eth0 up

Format AoE drive:

# mkfs.xfs /dev/etherd/e0.0

Mount it somewhere:

# mkdir -p /mnt/backup
# mount /dev/etherd/e0.0 /mnt/backup

You can use rsync to make a backup:

# /usr/bin/rsync --verbose --progress --stats --recursive --times --perms \
  --owner --group --links --delete --exclude "*back" --exclude "*~" ' + \
  /etc /mnt/backup

That's all. One thing is very important to remember: you should never mount the same aoe drive on more than one computer at the same time. This can lead to a serious file system errors. You should use special shared file system (like GFS) to have access by more than one computer.