Disk Cloning

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at ceid.upatras.gr
Mon Sep 28 19:00:49 UTC 2009

On Mon, 28 Sep 2009 01:14:44 -0500, Chris <racerx at makeworld.com> wrote:
> Greetings,
> Please suggest a cloning method comparable to Clonezilla.
> Preferably fast, no need to install a base OS, easy to clone and
> restore. Of course, the key is fast.
> Clonezilla does a nice job with OS's other than *BSD (It uses dd
> (iirc)) and that takes forever (at least when cloning - have not tried
> a restore).
> Some specs I'm using to compare: A typical restore/save currently with
> other OS's using CloneZ takes about 12 minutes with a simple boot from
> CD.
> The restored/imaged drive is 400 meg sata.

A dump & restore of a 400 MB system should be *very* fast.  Copying
files from a read-only USB flash disk easily reaches speeds of more than
20 MB/sec on my laptop.  This means that 400 MB of data should take
around 20 seconds to copy from an external USB disk.

If you can attach both disks at the same time, e.g. the source disk as
ad0 and the target disk as ad1, it should take less than 2-3 minutes to:

    * Enter single user mode

    * Partition and mount ad1 under /mnt

    * Use dump(8) to save data from ad0 and restore(8) to copy them over
      to ad1.

Even if you cannot attach both disks at the same time, but you can
access the source disk over the network, it should be possible to:

    * Install the target disk on the target host (host2).

    * Boot from a rescue image (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or USB).

    * Bring up a network interface to access the source host (host1).

    * Partition the ad0 disk of the target host (host2).  The standard
      fdisk(8), bsdlabel(8) or gpart(8) utilities can do this.

    * Tunnel dump over ssh:

        host2# cd /
        host2# ssh operator at host1 'dump -0a -C32 -L -f - /' | restore -rf -

Clonezilla is really nice, because it can take care of partition layout
and sizes automatically.  It isn't really _necessary_ to use Clonezilla
to clone an existing system though.  The base system of FreeBSD includes
enough tools to do that already.

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