clone a drive, no raid involved

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at
Thu Jun 19 17:12:30 UTC 2008

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 12:08:34PM -0400, Brad Mettee wrote:

> I'm setting up a pair of machines with almost identical OS config, and 
> completely identical hardware. One is a primary DNS server, the other is 
> secondary. NS1 will also serve web, NS2 will be a mail server. Both are low 
> volume/loads.
> It looks like I can use DD to copy an entire drive, but it's a 500G drive 
> and that's going to take a really long time (especially since it's brand 
> new with no data besides base OS).
> My question: Is there a better way to duplicate a drive including boot info?

Really, the better way is to use fdisk/bsdlabel/newfs to create the
identical file systems and boot/label blocks.   Then use dump(8) piped
to restore(8) to populate them with the data from the old file
systems.   It is generally better than making a byte-by-byte copy
with dd unless you are experimenting with some oddities of unformatted
disk access or whatever.

Also, using dump/restore will allow for those small differences from
disk to disk that are usually there without causing the problems dd
copies of whole disks can have.


>         Brad Mettee
>         PC HotShots, Inc.
>         Baltimore, MD
>         (410) 426-7617
>      -> Let us bring out the *Power* of your PCs. <-
> -> Custom Business Software Solutions since 1991 <-
> visit for information about our company.
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