Bare Metal Recovery FreeBSD How To

Nuno Gonçalves nuno at
Wed Dec 19 09:19:31 PST 2007

Thank you all on responding this mater.
Well the situation is the hardware is wrecked! So the only thing that I have
is the content of all partitions available. The backup is a tar uncompressed
So I have the contents in a server.

So the objective is to use a completely different hardware but with the same
kernel, same configurations, same partitions, etc. In that way, what I
thought (but I don't know if it is the proper way) was to install a minimum
freeBSD (same version which is 6.0) with the following partitions and
booting with F1 option:
/dev/ad1s1b             none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/ad1s1a             /                  ufs     rw              1       1
/dev/ad1s1d             /new_root        ufs     rw              2       2
/dev/ad1s1e		 /archive 	ufs     rw              2       2
/dev/acd0                 /cdrom         cd9660  ro,noauto       0       0

Then migrate the partions that I have in my backup

/ -> to partition /new_root (/dev/ad1s1d)  at the end this should be changed
to /dev/ad1s1a

/archive -> to partition /archive (/dev/ad1s1e)

The idea is to make use of the same swap partition, and of course if all
goes OK the partition / of the minimum system is lost when bootManager is
changed to boot on /new_root.

That is what I have in mind but I am not sure if it will work.
I am new to FreeBSD and I am more used to red hat, still I am putting some
effort to change that :)

Best regards and thanks once again


-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Kinsey [mailto:kdk at] 
Sent: quarta-feira, 19 de Dezembro de 2007 16:58
To: Nuno Gonçalves
Cc: freebsd-questions at
Subject: Re: Bare Metal Recovery FreeBSD How To

Nuno Gonçalves wrote:

> I am trying to do a Bare Metal Recovery from a FreeBSD 6.0 system to a
> different Hardware.
> I have a backup from all partitions of the affected system so I am trying
> install a minimum FreeBSD 6.0 in a different hardware which I already have
> up and running.

What kind of backup?  Is it a dump(8) file?
> I created a Swap Partition, a “/” partition where the minimum system is
> running, and a third partition “/backup” in which I will restore the
> through the network.
> Next step will be to change the boot manager and make it boot through
> “/backup”.
> Do you guys think this is doable?
> I Think I probably must recompile the kernel after the bare metal recovery
> because the hardware is different, still do you think it might work?

Did the kernel have a lot of customization?  A GENERIC kernel should
boot on almost anything --- which is why "bare metal recovery" seems 
a misnomer to me.  If the hard disk survives, I simply stick it in 
another box and rarely have any difficulties.  If it doesn't, I do
a minimal install with the desired final slice/partition scheme on 
the new HDD, and simply restore(8) over the top.

> What is your opinion on this? What should be the best approach ?

Well, I don't know your exact situation, but OOTOMH, the partitioning
scheme you mention seems like wasting a disk unless you want the
final system to have only /, swap, and /backup.  Which could be
OK, I guess, but isn't the traditional BSD Right Way(tm).

Also, I'd consider installing a newer release than 6.0, and only
restoring the important stuff.  Again, it depends on your situation.

My $.02,

Kevin Kinsey
You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.
		-- Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlet

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