How to restore a dreamcompute instance from an image?

I’m sort of new to Dreamcompute and all its terminology and concepts, despite having used it (successfully!) for a couple years. What I want to do now is a dist upgrade from Debian 9 to 10 on a server instance. Debian’s official instructions include solemn warnings about the need to back up, so I am looking for how to do that as painlessly as possible.

I see how to create an image/snapshot from one of my instances – easy enough. Now suppose I shoot myself in the foot and want to restore that instance from the snapshot. I haven’t been able to find documentation about that.

I can imagine you could create a new instance from the snapshot, yes. But it would have a unique name – i.e., different from the one I want to roll back to its earlier state. True? I am looking for a way to restore the same instance back to its former state, including its IP addresses and all that good stuff.

Any thoughts? Is there a tutorial somewhere that covers this?

  1. Navigate to the Instances page of the DreamCompute dashboard.
  2. To the right of the instance, click the Create Snapshot button and give the snapshot a name. This creates an operating system image of your running instance. Please wait for this process to complete before moving on to the next step (generally it doesn’t take more than a few minutes).
  3. Make note of the flavor of the instance, the name of the instance, and any other features that should be retained in the new instance.
  4. Click the Launch Instance button to create a new instance. On the “Source” tab, set “Select Boot Source” to “Instance Snapshot” and click the up arrow symbol next to the name of the snapshot created in the previous step. Please note that you cannot create a new volume from instance snapshots in DreamCompute, so make sure to set “Create New Volume” to “No”.

More at DreamHost Knowledgebase

Thanks, good to know. I already understand that you can create a new instance from a snapshot. My question is, say I have instance X and I want to be able to do something risky with X. I before I do something to X I create a snapshot. Then something goes disastrously wrong. My objective is to return X to its previous, pre-something state.

How would one do that with the snapshot? Would I have to destroy X and then re-create it (or a new instance, as it were) from the snapshot? Can the instance’s name be re-used right away? Would it come back to life (so to speak) with the same IP addresses etc as before? Or is there another approach altogether?

The knowledgebase (link above) has several articles about restoring from snapshot.

Any idea what search terms I should be using? “snapshot” yields 12 results. The first of these is the closest, but it doesn’t address my question. It explains how to create a new instance, not how to roll back an existing one to an earlier state.

Sorry, nothing explicit. However, in my own experience, often one can glean useful info comprehensively from several sources. Several of the articles in the Knowledgebase may add up to your solution.

I’ve been trying that for a while to no avail.

What I think I might do is just experiment and see what happens. Create an instance from one of the stock images and give it a name, e.g., fred; mess around, set up my SSH keys, etc; make a snapshot; mutilate it horribly, like sudo rm -rf /etc; then destroy fred; then try to (re-)create a new fred from the snapshot and see how much work it takes to get it back the way it was.

Maybe it’s trivial. Then again, if it is reincarnated with different IP addresses, that could have unpleasant consequences.

I will stop obsessing over this, having talked long enough. But it does seem like a pretty sensible way to recover from disaster; it should be a thing, so to speak.

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