On Tue, 29 Sep 2009, PJ wrote:

I am getting more and more confused with all the info regarding backing
up and cloning or moving systems from disk to disk or computer to computer.
I would like to do 2 things:
1. clone several instances of 7.2 from and existing installation
2. set up a backup script to back up changes either every night or once
a week

There are numerous solutions out there; but they are mostly confusing,
erroneous or non functional.
To start, could someone please explail to the the following, which I
found here:http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?t=185

You can move system from disk to disk on fly with

$ newfs -U /dev/ad2s1a
$ mount /dev/ad2s1a.... /target
$ cd /target
$ dump -0Lauf - /dev/ad1s1a  | restore -rf -

This may be clear to someone; it certainly is not to me.
As I understand it, newfs will (re)format the slice.
Ok,  But what is standard out in the above example.  The dump is from
where to where?

dump is reading /dev/ad1s1a and using stdout for output.
restore is writing to the current directory (/target) and is reading from stdin.

Could someone clarify all this for me?
So far, I have been unable to dump the / slice, not even with the -L

It's hard to help without knowing the exact commands you are using and the errors they are producing. Help us to help you by posting them.

I am trying to dump the whole system (all the slices)except swap
to a usb (sata2 500gb disk) and then restore to another computer with
7.2 minimal installation.

A minimal install makes it easier.  You don't need to copy /tmp, either.

Slices ad2s1d,e,f and g dump ok to usb. a does not - errors ("should use
-L when dumping live filesystems)

Right. So what happens when you use -L? A long pause while the system makes a snapshot is normal.

Do you have to newfs each slice before restoring?

The first time.  But your minimal install already did that for you.

But if you are restoring on a running 7.2 system, don't you have to restore to another disk than the one the system is on?

Nope. You can overwrite the running system. I restore in /usr, /var, and then / order. Then reboot and you are running the new clone.

I am beginning to think that you have to have a system running and dumpt to another disk on that system and then remove that disk and install in another box and boot from that? Am I getting close? I know it's a lot to ask, but then, I know you guys are capable... :-)

It's usually best to limit messages to a single question.

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA
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