Files on v6 boot drive

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Files on v6 boot drive

Here are the files and folders on a v6 flash drive, what they are or do, whether they come from the distro or not, and possibly whether they can be restored, and/or are recreated.
All files and folders are listed as in the root of the flash drive (e.g. /bzimage, /config/super.dat). On the unRAID server, they are actually at /boot (e.g. /boot/bzimage, /boot/config/super.dat). Some files and folders may not exist in your installation, that's OK. Current and future unRAID v6 releases may add additional files and folders that may not be listed below.
bzroot - from distro; unRAID OS
bzimage - from distro; unRAID OS startup
bzroot-gui - from distro; optional; unRAID boot and management GUI; only v6.2
license.txt - from distro; the license text
make_bootable.bat - from distro; preps flash drive from DOS or Windows
make_bootable_mac - from distro; preps flash drive from Mac
memtest - from distro; Memtest86 5.01, open source version
install.txt - from distro; installation instructions for preparing the flash drive; only v6.1.2 through v6.1.9
changes.txt - from distro; release notes for current version, possibly for previous versions too; only v6.1.2 on
readme.txt - from older distros; installation and release notes for older versions; only through v6.1.1, not since
readvz - from Preclear plugin; optional; a tool for faster post-reading

/extra - optional; any packages here will be automatically installed at boot
/packages - optional; packages here will not be automatically installed, but may be installed by certain plugins
/logs - contains syslogs and diagnostics zip files; user may wish to archive old logs
/plugins - not used currently
/previous - contains the previous unRAID version, if user wishes to revert back from current upgrade
/unmenu - contains UnMENU files and folders; optional; only if user installs UnMENU
/syslinux and all files within - from distro
      syslinux.cfg - from distro, but may be edited by user (user may wish to restore their customized version)
      syslinux.cfg- - note the trailing hyphen; restores "factory settings" when invoked from GUI, when Default is clicked under Syslinux Configuration; do not edit this file!
/preclear_reports - contains reports from Preclear scripts and plugins; optional
/config - contains all user configuration and plugin information; some parts are from distro; if you don't backup entire flash, then backup this folder
     /plugins - contains all plugin files and folders, including Dynamix; a few are from distro
     /plugins-removed - contains the .plg files for plugins that have been removed
     /plugins-error - contains the .plg files for plugins which failed to install on system start up; the original .plg file is moved to this folder and won't be installed on next system start
     /shares - contains all files (*.cfg) that contain the share settings for each User Share; if removed, settings will be recreated with defaults
     /ssh - contains all generated SSH keys (if you delete this folder, it will be regenerated on next boot, with fresh keys)
     /plugins/dockerMan/templates-user - contains the user templates, the Docker template configuration info

     go - from distro, but may be edited by user (user may wish to restore their customized version)
     disk.cfg - contains various drive settings; if missing, recreated with defaults
     super.dat - contains the drive models and serials and their array assignments; recreated empty if missing
     ident.cfg - originally from distro, contains basic network identity settings, including NTP
     network.cfg - originally from distro, contains basic network settings
     share.cfg - contains global share settings; if missing, recreated with defaults
     smb-extra.conf - optional; contains special smb settings, such as recycle bin settings
     domain.cfg - originally from distro, contains basic domain settings
     domains.cfg - obsolete; only in certain v6.2 installations
     docker.cfg - originally from distro, contains basic docker settings
     *.key - your purchased license key file or files, tied to flash drive GUID
     parity-checks.log - optional; history of parity checks
     smart-one.cfg - contains SMART settings
     smart-all.cfg - contains SMART settings
     passwd - contains user and password info
     smbpasswd - contains user and password info
     shadow - contains user and password info
     secrets - contains user and password info; may be obsolete from older versions???


Important Notes and Warnings

Backups and super.dat - Backups are always a good thing, and certainly your unRAID flash drive should be backed up, or at least the /config folder should be backed up. But there's a couple of gotcha's to be aware of. One is that config/super.dat contains a flag whether the array is currently started or not. Why is that important to know? Because when you shut down normally, the flag indicates the array is stopped, and your backup can be restored without issue. But if you backup while the array is running, and then restore that backed up super.dat, unRAID will see that flag (showing the array still up) and assume you didn't shut down cleanly last time, and start a parity check. It's not a big problem, because you can just cancel the parity check, and the only harm is really minor - the parity check history may be messed up a little!
Backups and super.dat, part 2 - There's another danger to be aware of (much more serious!) - since super.dat contains the drive assignments for your array, you need to be careful if you make changes to the assignments that you don't ever restore an incompatible super.dat. MOST OF ALL, if you add a new parity drive, and reuse your old parity drive as a data drive! What would happen? If you restore that old super.dat, it assumes the *old* parity drive is your current parity drive and begins writing parity info to it, overwriting what is currently a data drive! Never restore a super.dat that is inconsistent with the current array configuration! It MUST have exactly the same set of drives and assignments!
Reading super.dat - The super.dat file is a binary file, can't be easily read by text tools. But there's a tool that's designed to pull text strings out of binary files called strings, and it lists the drives in order (amid some clumps of random garbage, it doesn't know which characters are valid). The first drive is the parity drive. If a slot does not have a drive assigned, there will be a small gap. And if you have a second parity drive, it will appear at the end after a large gap (unless you have a very full array). Why might you want to do this? If you need to know how the drives were assigned and especially which one was the parity drive (and you forgot to take notes or grab a screen copy!), or if you have several super.dat files from several backups and you want to know which is which, then the following command will show you (at console or terminal command line).
strings /boot/config/super.dat
Starting Over - Be aware that if your flash drive is lost or broken (completely unusable), you have not lost anything important! Your data is still safe, and parity is still valid! All you have lost is your settings, all of them (if you don't have a backup)! There's a section below to help you start over, but it doesn't mean starting over with your data, just starting over with all of the configuration and installed apps and tools.


Starting Over

For whatever reason, you have decided to start over, reset everything, begin again with a fresh clean boot drive and configuration. But you may have data you don't want to lose, and you aren't sure you want to lose *every* setting. Here's how to do it. You'll be able to decide just how clean your new system will be, and which existing setting groups to keep or allow to be reset to defaults.
  • First step we recommend is to make a full backup of your flash drive. You never know what you may want from it later! You MUST have a copy of your USB key file safe somewhere! And if you want to restore any settings or assignments, you want the latest copies, especially of super.dat.
  • Now you are going to reformat and prepare your flash drive as if it's brand new, see the LimeTech Getting Started page. It has both a video guide (Windows-based) and a written guide farther down for Mac or PC. We recommend installing the latest stable version of unRAID from the LimeTech download page. Make sure that your purchased key file (*.key) is saved to the config folder.
  • At this point, you have a completely clean install! If you are sure that's what you want, you're done! If however you would like to restore some of your settings and assignments, then skip down to the optional steps.
    • This is only for those who are going to stop at this point, with no settings or assignments restored. You will need to go through the configuration pages, and make the changes you need, especially the Identity and Network settings. If you have existing data and parity drives, you will need to reassign them, making absolutely certain that you assign the parity drive correctly. You also should make sure the file system format (ReiserFS, XFS, or BTRFS) for each of your data drives is set correctly. We recommend assigning the data drives only and starting the array. If any drive is unmountable, then STOP! You may have assigned the parity drive there!
Once you are sure the data drives are assigned correctly, then you can stop the array and assign the parity drive(s) and restart. If you know the parity drive(s) are valid, then put a check in the check box for Parity is already valid. (It appears after you click the Start button.) This will preserve your current parity drive, and you won't have to rebuild parity. However, it's always a good idea to check parity, once you are done making all changes.
  • The following are all optional steps. You can skip or perform any or all of them. Those you skip will still have the system defaults, and you'll need to check and correct their configuration pages according to your needs.
    • Network settings - to keep all of your network and identity settings, restore from your backup the files config/ident.cfg and config/network.cfg to the config folder of your flash drive.
    • Drive assignments - to keep all of your drive assignments including the parity drive(s), restore from your backup the file config/super.dat to the config folder of your flash drive. You must be absolutely certain that this super.dat has exactly the same drives and assignments of your current array!
    • Various drive settings - to keep the rest of your drive settings, including Cache drive assignments, restore from your backup the file config/disk.cfg to the config folder of your flash drive. If you do not restore this file, it will be recreated with the defaults for all settings. If you restore super.dat and do NOT restore this file, you will need to make sure that the file system format (ReiserFS, XFS, or BTRFS) for each of your data drives is configured correctly.
    • Share settings - to keep all of your User Share settings, restore from your backup the file config/share.cfg and the folder config/share (with all its *.cfg files) to the config folder of your flash drive.
    • Users and passwords - to keep all of your current users and their passwords, restore from your backup the files config/passwd, config/shadow, and config/smbpasswd to the config folder of your flash drive.
    • go file - the only reason to restore your copy of go is because you have customized it for your needs. If so, restore from your backup the file config/go to the config folder of your flash drive.
    • syslinux.cfg file - the only reason to restore your copy of syslinux.cfg is because you have customized it for your needs. If so, restore from your backup the file syslinux/syslinux.cfg to the syslinux folder of your flash drive.
    • Docker settings - you may not want to restore your Docker settings, if you are trying for a clean fresh start! In fact, we recommend manually deleting any existing docker.img *BEFORE* you enable and configure Dockers. To keep your user templates, restore from your backup the contents of the config/plugins/dockerMan/templates-user folder. You can keep appdata settings and files, but you may need to re-point to it as you reinstall your containers.
    • Others? - we aren't sure about other configuration files.
  • Enjoy your new server!