I have successfully used Linux to get a "disk image" of a Solaris x86
install. I simply put the Solaris disk into a Linux Box, and dd'ed
/dev/hdb (Solaris disk) to a file on a Linux partition.
I can then "clone" the Solaris install onto many boxen by dd'ing this
file back onto other disks.
(I know, installation servers. etc, but that is OT.). The beauty of dd
is that it does not need
to know about the filesystem, it simply copies the bits. The resulting
"clone" produces a bootable
machine in one go, whereas a regular backup (at the file level) is a bit
more trouble to turn into
a working system (if, say, someone deleted the partition table or stole
My next project is a bit more ambitious; Compaq Proliant with smart-2
RAID. I won't mention the OS,
but Linux calls the filesystem "HPFS" - draw your own conclusions !. I
would like to be able to boot the server from cd, and DD the RAID volume
to an NFS share on another box. The idea being that
I could then evaluate performance of other OS's (e.g. Linux) on this
hardware, and restore the box
very simply if it was necessary.
This morning I booted the box from a SuSE install cd, loaded the smart-2
module and the NIC module,
and saw the RAID partitions, exactly as I expected. I think for the job
I will boot from a Debian cd, as it (if I remember correctly) gives a
lot of flexibility in choosing what to load, e.g. load NFS support, etc.
I am presuming ALT-F6 or somesuch brings up a bash prompt and I can at
some point do ; dd if=/dev/sda of=/server/share/filename or similar, and
wait quite a while for 7 Gigs of data to get shunted across the network.
My questions to the list are ;
1./ Has anyone who might have done similar got any tips, e.g. blocksize
to use, etc.
2./ Will dd work over NFS (is an NFS mount a block device and if not are
there alternatives ) ?
3./ I have a feeling the ilug BBC might be an alternative to an
installation cd ?
4./ Any obvious stupid things that I am missing before I research this
further and build an NFS server
with an 8 Gig /export/home ?
5/ Storage medium will be cd-r. Any issues using split to create 10 650
MB files from one 7 gig file ?
Andrew Kemmy, SAIR & GNU Linux Certified Professional (and general
dogsbody admin ;)
7 Exchange Place
IFSC Dublin 1.
00 3531 6702900
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