On Thu, 7 Jun 2007, Ian Lord wrote:

Basically, I need a way to dump the hd to file, transfer the file over
whatever media (dvd, network, etc) and restore on the new machine.


Personally, I do a minimal install of FreeBSD on the target machine first. That lets you set the partitions the way you want and gives you a complete set of tools.

As always, back up the source machine before starting.

Dump the /, /var, and /usr filesystems from the source machine into files, and any others with contents you need. For example:

dump -0af /tmp/slash.dump /

Of course, the output should be on a different filesystem than the one being dumped, and ideally a separate disk to avoid head thrashing (/tmp shown below, but most people don't have enough space in /tmp to do it. You can use NFS or ssh or other methods to use remote files.)

On later versions of FreeBSD, you should give dump the -L option to use a snapshot of the filesystem.

Giving dump more memory with -C can also help, although it runs multiple instances, so too much will cause swapping.

Ultimately, for a typical FreeBSD 6.2 machine:

dump -C8 -L -0af /tmp/slash.dump /
dump -C8 -L -0af /tmp/var.dump /var
dump -C8 -L -0af /tmp/usr.dump /usr

Get those files onto the target machine, again in an unused filesystem or separate disk, and restore:

cd /usr
restore -ruf /tmp/usr.dump
cd /var
restore -ruf /tmp/var.dump
cd /
restore -ruf /tmp/slash.dump

Now is a good time to fix anything that will be different in /etc/fstab, like references to ad0 that should be ad2.

Reboot and fix anything else that needs to be changed.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA
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