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Thread: Cloning boot SATA HD to a USB flash drive

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Beans
    4

    Question Cloning boot SATA HD to a USB flash drive

    Hi,

    I have a working 9.04 on an internal SATA drive and everything is humming along just fine. I've done custom setup on the OS for various applications. What I'd like to do is to migrate everything to an 8GB USB flash drive and pull out the hard drive. I was thinking of using Clonezilla to migrate the partitions.

    Has anyone such a thing and what are the challenges? TIA.

    maduro

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Beans
    920
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Cloning boot SATA HD to a USB flash drive

    I've done disk to disk migrations before successfully, though typically with other Linux distributions, rather than Ubuntu. It's definitely feasible; this is how the Ubuntu live-CD installer Ubiquity works, after all. The main two things with Ubuntu to watch out for are fstab and the bootloader. You may find it easiest to do the copy using a live CD so that you don't have so many mounts to deal with on the SATA root partition. If you have ACL's or SeLinux labels do the copy with star, which is not installed by default. If you have encrypted home directories I'd definitely suggest doing the clone using either a live CD or a special admin user with an unencrypted home directory you create just for that purpose.

    Most Ubuntu partitions are mounted by UUID, not by device. After doing mkfs -t ext4 and mkswap on the USB drive partitions be sure to run blkid and adjust the cloned /etc/fstab to match the new UUID's.

    Also, you'll need to run grub-install --root-directory=... to put a boot loader on the USB device.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North West England
    Beans
    2,676
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Cloning boot SATA HD to a USB flash drive

    cpio is pretty darn good at 'photo-copying' dissimilar file-systems as it does not depend on block size, etc.

    dd can do block size conversions (as its name says (dd == Copy And Convert - It's a *nix thing, as CC stands for C Compiler)

    Regards,

    phill.

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