how to prepare disk for dump/restore

Polytropon freebsd at
Thu Oct 15 19:17:45 UTC 2009

On Thu, 15 Oct 2009 14:59:51 -0400, PJ <af.gourmet at> wrote:
> I would like to just partition, label and newfs the disk; livefs wants
> to waste my time by installing other stuff like the kernel & man pages
> etc that I have not even selected;

Just don't go through the whole installation cycle; from the
sysinstall main menu, select "Custom" and perform slicing
(setting disk active, adding standard MBR) and partitioning
(creating partitions, format them with "w" or "z"). Then
leave the menu and use the shell. You can get to the "Fdisk"
and "Label" through "Configure" in the main menu, too.

> and if I use postinstall
> configuration, that doesn't do anything. Or should I use fixit and then
> do the manual thing?

You can use sysinstall from the Fixit CD, too. That's the way
I'm mostly doing this kind of thing: Preparing the disk with
the sysinstall tool, then dropping to CLI for the restoring

> Sysinstall requires already being booted... ???

No. You can execute it even on a running system.

> Or do I do it manually as per Polytropon's recipe of fdisk, bsdlabel,
> newfs  mount, dump/restore and use/play? ;-)

This method is quite usable when you completely understood what
you're doing; furthermore, it enables scripting automated
processes, which is very handy especially when you want to
provide larger numbers of cloned systems.

In any case: Be sure which device you're operating on, and keep
in mind that it may (!) be a different device when in the place
where it should go.

For example, if you intend to prepare a disk to be ad4 in the
target system, let it be (if possible) ad4 in the source system,
and boot your source system from ad12. From this running system,
perform the cloning. If everything is done, check references
for ad12 and change them to ad4 (even *that* can be scripted);
eyes on /etc/fstab. After you've done everything, shut down the
running system, unplug ad12 and let the system boot from ad4.
Everything should be alright now. Extract ad4 and take it to
its new system.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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