just cloning

Manolis Kiagias sonicy at otenet.gr
Wed Sep 30 17:42:03 UTC 2009

PJ wrote:
> Maybe this is what I really need since I want to set up 3 identical 7.2
> computers and back them up and update as needed. This should assure a
> minimum of headaches like what I have been experienceg lately.
> This link
> http://cabstand.com/usbflash.html
> seems to be about right, but I'd like to get some opinions on what would
> be the best way to go about this.
> I assume that I must do one difinitive installation on 1 computer. Then
> to clone, do I dump the partitions to a usb disk and restore to the
> other two computers; or do I follow the instructions on the above link.
> Obviously, it would be nice if it could be K.I.S.S.

Can't tell about these instructions (would be nice to try them though)
but I can assure you I've used the dump/restore method numerous times
and it works great.
There are a few things one should take care of:

1. Don't forget to install MBR / boot blocks on your new disk after
restoring the dump(s)
    (see also this post
2. Don't forget to manually create directories that you excluded from
your dump (like /dev /mnt)
3. Since you will (obviously) not dump /tmp don't forget to set the
sticky bit on it when you newfs and mount it - All sort of weird things
will happen if it is not set.
4. If the machines are identical it probably doesn't matter, but it
would be a good idea to label the partitions so you don't have to rely
on device names in fstab (as these change depending on the motherboard,
disk controller, sata connector used etc.), see

You can even restore by booting the FreeBSD live FS CD (or the DVD). As
I recall you may have to define TMPDIR to something writable (to a
directory in the USB disk you are using for the dumps) for restore to
work properly.  Restore will tell you about this if needed.

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