cloning a FreeBSD HDD

Khaled Hussain khaled at
Fri Mar 24 16:02:46 UTC 2006

Hi All,

This is my first day on the list so please pardon me if I am on the wrong
list and any mistakes I make.

I would like to create a bootable clone of a HDD running BSD version 4.8. I
have experience of cloning linux machines successfully but understand that
freebsd is a little different.

Please correct me if I'm wrong but my procedure would be to procedure would
be to:

1. Connect a new HDD as secondary to a freebsd host machine
2. create partitions and make filesystem on these partitions
3. mount the clone HDD on the host machine
4. scp all dirs exclusive of /dev and /proc from the original HDD to the
clone HDD
5. install the boot loader - this is pretty easy with grub or lilo on linux
but I have no idea what is required to be done at this stage or how the BSD
boot manager works
6. unmount the clone and shutdown the machine
7. restart the machine with the clone HDD set as primary HDD

I created the partitions and filesystem by using /stand/sysinstall off of
the host machine and editted the disk labels for the attached clone HDD. The
mount point for the root partition of the clone HDD was /mnt on the host
HDD. I also installed a boot manager on the HDD via /stand/sysinstall.
After copying all dirs over from the original source HDD, I booted the HDD
to find that the boot menu prompt is desplayed but followed by an error when
trying to boot, similar to:


Default: F1

Invalid Partition:
no /boot/loader

Default: 0: ad(0,a)/kernel
no /kernel


This is despite /boot/loader and /kernel existing in the cloned HDD.

Please can someone help me understand what I am doing wrong and how to
successfully clone a BSD disk; I would greatly appreciate any commands that
can shorten the process (as opposed to doing things via /stand/sysinstall).

Kindest Regards


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