What is the best way to image copy a FreeBSD system?

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Tue Feb 15 15:07:22 UTC 2011

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 01:53:44AM -0500, Xn Nooby wrote:

> On Linux I use clonezilla, which understands the EXT3 filesystem, and
> it can skip unused space (I'm using about 3GB out of 1TB).
> On FreeBSD, I have to fill the 1TB drive with zero-filled files, then
> delete them, on each partiton, since CloneZilla uses DD+gzip on the
> entire drive.
> I like to make image copies of new systems, so I can revert back to my
> starting point in case I break it, but CloneZilla is taking 9 hours to
> image the drive.  I can re-install a lot faster than that.

My suggestion would be to do the slicing/partitioning on the copy
and then use dump/restore on each partition from the new drive to 
the copy drive.   

A dd image is not really all that good a way to do it.   

It just produces a sector by sector copy which is not efficient.
The dump/restore produces what you want which is an efficient runable system
on the copy disk.   

Once you get the dump/restore finished, you could use rsync periodically
to keep it up to date.   Actually you could use rsync to do all the
copying on to the prepartitioned copy drive, but I would prefer dump/restore.

> I normally store my image copies on a Samba share on another system,
> they are stored as files.  I am not copying to another raw drive.

In that case, use dump(8) to create those files and store them
where-ever you wish.

> Is there an image-copy backup program that understands the UFS
> file-system? Or perhaps there is a better solution on FreeBSD?

As mentioned above, dump(8)/restore(8) is made for that.


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