[clug] duplicate a file system to a smaller hard disk

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Mon Aug 10 06:26:26 MDT 2009

Chris Zhang <chris.zhang.syd at gmail.com> writes:

> I have been looking for a way to clone a complete working Linux system on a
> 250GB (22GB used) hard disk to a smaller hard disk.

Boot something that can see both disks, then use mkfs and tar, cpio, rsync, or
whatever else to do the data transfer.  I usually use rsync, because then I
can do a live run (or two) to the target disk, then a much, much faster
offline run, to keep downtime to a minimum.

That reduces your problems to "reinstall the bootloader", which isn't that
terrible, but is a touch distro-specific.  With details of the same we can
advise specifically.


> It is just a thought and I don't have a clear idea as to how exactly I am
> able to do it. Does anyone have any ideas? I am very open to completely new
> approaches.

I do this ... well.  I would say regularly, but it is probably only a
half-dozen times a year or so in truth, because I don't have /that/ much
hardware at home or work to upgrade in place.

I think it is a good idea.  My present laptop is a year old, the Linux install
two, and I am a tad disappointed I made the call to reinstall, because the
previous installation went back to 1996, over three bits of hardware.  Oh, well.

✣ Daniel Pittman            ✉ daniel at rimspace.net            ☎ +61 401 155 707
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