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I have an Ubuntu 10.10 server at home that I've been playing around with, attempting to get a Railo/CFML web server setup on. The issue is that after playing around with so many different configuration files etc, I believe there are some bad configurations on there preventing me from getting everything working nicely.

I'm currently thinking about reinstalling the OS to go back to the start. I have backed up my /etc and ~ files to my windows machines so I can easily copy back my smb.conf and fstab files (or any others I find I need).

  1. Is this the best way to take the system back to its initial 'clean' state?
  2. I have a raid-5 array that was created when I initially installed the OS. Is there any risk of my losing the array (or the data on it) by reinstalling the OS?
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Clean state/reinstall may be not the proper solution. You need a "clean eye". A person who knows his job, yet never seen YOUR server / settings. He'll spot the problem at once.

However, if you do reinstall: The only thing you need is the /home directory if we'd talk about desktop. On server? Save the SQL, web pages, mail/mail settings/whatever you have. Other things: Self/speficially compiled stuff for running your business (like custom IRC server or something like that.)

And guess that's all.

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This is a slight side note; a thought for the future.

This kind of experimentation where you're playing around with config files etc., is best done in a virtual machine.

Install something like VirtualBox and install Ubuntu in that, then when the base operating system is as you like it, take a snapshot.

You can then experiment to your hearts content, and if you make a complete botch of it, just roll back to the snapshot and try again.

Then when you're happy you know what you're doing with the configuration you can roll it out onto the live server with no worries about getting it wrong.

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Definately a good idea – Ryan French Mar 16 '11 at 17:38

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