system cloning

Haulmark, Chris chris at
Fri Jun 10 20:03:48 GMT 2005

Someone broke the silence: 

> Here's my scenario:
> I have a system that we are running in production that there was an
> oversight on, and it has a single hard drive installed (32GB SCSI I
> believe), rather than a 3 drive raid5 array.  We would like
> to correct
> this, but we have all sorts of up-to-date packages and config files
> that we've tweaked that we would hate to just start over on it.

There are many methods.  If it was my situtation and it's only up to 32 GB
of space, I would do this:

1. Get a temporary computer with at least 32 GB available.  Set it up as a
file server (Samba) with FreeBSD.

2. Mount it as a NFS server.

3. Use cp -rp for those directories (etc, usr, home, and all the others). Also
write down the partitions.

4. Replace the single hard drive with 3 hard drives and set up RAID 5.

5.  Install the exact same partitions that you originally had on the previous
setup system.  

6.  Mount the file share on your temporary computer system with the data.

7.  Copy everything back except those in /boot

8.  Modify the fstab file if there is a difference between the original and
the new setup.

I might have forgot something.

Chris Haulmark

> There's a tool for OSX called "Carbon Copy Cloner" that would
> take care of
> this for me, which is basically a series of copy commands
> that takes the
> filesystem from one drive to another, preserving EVERYTHING
> important, and then bless the boot volume.
> Is there anything similar I can do on FreeBSD?  My boss
> thinks I should be
> able to tar up the entire filesystem, create the raid array,
> and untar the
> whole thing on the new array.  I seem to think this will fail
> due to block
> devices that have changed, fstab entries that have changed (though
> this is correctable), and symlinks that don't nicely come across.
> Thoughts?
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