How to copy a Linux installation

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Using dd to make a 1:1 copy

Advantages

When dd is used to create the copy, it is copied at a sector by sector level. This means that in many circumstances, the new version will have it's boot sector set up and everthing. In situations where you are making a complete copy of the disk, even things like the IBM tools will be saved.

Disadvantages

Case 1: The Linux installation is on a separate Harddisk

dd if=/dev/hd[a,b,c,..] of=/dev/hd[a,b,c,..] bs=2M

Part of Sourcedrive  : if=/dev/hd[a,b,c,..] the Letter "a" for the first Harddrive, b for the second, ....

Part of Destinationdrive  : of=/dev/hd[a,b,c,..] the Letter "a" for the first Harddrive, b for the second, ....

Case 2: The Linux installation is on a Partition

(e.g. hda1 is the Partition with the Linux installation and hdb1 is the Destinationdrive)

dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/dev/hdb1 bs=2M

Using tar to make a copy of the filesystem

Advantages

Disadvantages