cloning with nfs?

Ean Kingston ean at
Wed Jun 22 14:49:02 GMT 2005

On June 22, 2005 02:40 am, Dick Hoogendijk wrote:
> Yesterday I ruined my partition table on one of my machines.
> Luckely this machine was almost an exact copy of another that still is
> running fine.
> So, I can follow the procedure of copying one disk to another (following
> the handbook). But this requires a fysical removal / action on the
> machines and harddisks witch I don't want to do if not needed.
> I did a minimal install on the crashed machine (#B)
> If disk'cloning' can be done through NFS that'll be the way to go for
> me.
> Will it be enough to export /var /usr /tmp and / (#B) to mountpoints on
> machine #A and then follow the 'normal' dump/restore procedure mentioned
> in the handbook?
> Or are there side_effects and will fysical placement of the 'new' drive
> in machine #A be the right way to do it?

I don't think restore works reliably  on NFS mounted disks but I have copied 
disks using dump/restore through ssh.

I would not do a blind dump/restore of / or /var. Those filesystems can 
contain some installation specific information. I think the only thing out 
of / that you need to copy would be /etc and possibly /boot if you have a 
custom kernel. Just remember that  a kernel install is not as simple as 
copying files.

You don't need to copy /tmp since it should not contain any information that 
is needed to survive a reboot. Just reboot after you restore.

As for /usr you should be able to dump/restore that one. If you have 
additional  packages installed, you will also want to copy /var/db/pkg and 
possibly /var/db/ports.

Likewise, if the system  is a mail server, you will want to copy over the 
appropriate directory structure (typically /var/spool) but you need to make 
sure you don't copy over any of the spool files or your users are going to 
get 2 copies of the same message delivered.

> Thanks for any advice.

Ean Kingston

E-Mail: ean AT hedron DOT org
I am currently looking for work. If you need competent system/network 
administration please feel free to contact me directly.

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