clone a disk

Simon Hobson linux at
Sun Jul 19 09:28:11 UTC 2015

Thierry Granier <th.granier at> wrote:

> the "backup" is created on the source machine
> i don't see how to get this backup on the destination machine and how to boot on this machine (for this backup)

By specifying "user at address:path" you are telling rsync to copy the files ot a remote machine - that's how the backup gets to the other machine.
To make it bootable, you'll need to arrange that the root of the remote path is the root of it's own filesystem, then you can do some stuff with chroot and install grub on the appropriate disk.

I don't normally bother trying to keep backups bootable. I'll just prepare a system to restore to, create the filesystems, create the mointpoints and mount all the filesystems, and then rsync all the files back. This can be done while booted from a "live-CD" environment - or for virtual machines, by mounting the filesystems on the host (but be careful not to restore your backup to the wrong place and wipe the host filesystem, it's "inconvenient" !)

NB - please keep replies to the list.

Kevin Korb <kmk at> wrote:

> I would add --numeric-ids and --itemize-changes.

Rats, yes you *must* specify numeric-ids or the backup is usually "a bit broken" as ownership information will get mangled.

> Also, I prefer to do backups by filesystem so I would add
> - --one-file-system and run one rsync per filesystem.  This means you
> don't have to exclude things like /proc and /dev and any random thing
> that isn't normally connected but sometimes is but it also means you
> have to list all the filesystems that you do want to backup.

Yeah, that's a bit "6 of one, half a dozen of the other".
I prefer to have a backup that is a complete image of the source directory tree - rather than several backups, one per filesystem. You can do the former while doing "one sync per filesystem", but you have to be a bit clever with your excludes to avoid the sync of the root deleting all the other filesystems before the next step puts them back again.
And I sometimes re-arrange my volumes during a restore - and then it's easier to have one backup tree rather than one per filesystem.

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