best approach to clone a disk?

Joe Auty joe at
Tue Feb 14 10:19:03 PST 2006

What is your strategy for dealing with disks of different sizes, like  
mine are?

On Feb 14, 2006, at 1:01 PM, fbsd_user wrote:

> Cloning a complete HD mbr and all to second HD
> in same FreeBSD box is a snap using ghost.
> That's the way I make additional FreeBSD workstation pc'a.
> I take the HD from the target and plug it into the FreeBSD box, then
> boot ghost from floppy, do ghost hd to hd copy, remove cloned HD and
> put it into target box and boot it up and it runs just like the
> original.
> This is not the Freebsd way.
> But its quick and can also be used for my window boxs on my LAN.
> You get double the bang for your buck.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at]On Behalf Of Joe Auty
> Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 12:26 PM
> To: Alec Berryman
> Cc: freebsd-questions at
> Subject: Re: best approach to clone a disk?
> On Feb 14, 2006, at 12:07 PM, Alec Berryman wrote:
>> Joe Auty on 2006-02-14 11:49:05 -0500:
>>> What is the best way to clone a disk in FreeBSD?
>> [...]
>>> Can I use DD on two disks of different size? Do you recommend
> Ghost
>>> for Unix?
>> g4u is a very nice wrapper for dd.  I've had great success with it
> for
>> identically-sized disks; there shouldn't be a problem if the
> target
>> disk is larger than the source disk, because you can edit the
>> partitions around and then growfs.
>> Don't overlook tar, though - it doesn't care about disk sizes as
> long
>> as you have enough free space, doesn't care about partitions, and
> is
>> simpler in many cases.  If you boot up to the fixit image from an
>> install CD you can partition and newfs to however you like and
> then
>> untar.
> Hmmm... Could you tell me more about how the fixit images work? I've
> never had to do that... basically, I just need something that will
> allow me to boot up into single user mode. I've been using the
> source
> disk in single user mode, and doing a mount -u /  to make sure that
> it is mounted read only. Before I go this route, I'm thinking it
> might be wise to give "dump" another try from a working boot CD.
> What
> is the best way to create myself a boot CD that I can use to boot up
> in single user mode?
> As far as your tar idea, the idea seems great, although I'm not sure
> whether I have enough space to store both the tarball and the space
> needed to extract the tarball to. We are talking over a 100 gig
> here.
> Thanks for your advice!
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