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Replicating a Debian system

Here's what I came up with to "clone" a Debian system with the aid of
a CD writer.  If you don't have a CD writer, you may be able to use a
Jaz drive or regular hard drive for the purpose.

1. Create tar files of each filesystem.  Use tar's "--one-file-system"
option to facilitate this.

2. Put these tar files on a CD.

3. Create a root disk using the "make-boot-floppies" package.  Put the
Rock Ridge filesystem module, isofs.o, on the disk.

4. Load the CD into the drive on the target system and boot from the
boot & root floppies.

5. Partition the disk and make the filesystems.  It makes life easier
to use the same partition numbers for the same filesystems as on the
source machine; otherwise, you will need to edit /etc/fstab.  If you
use a different device for the root or swap, there may be other
things you need to do also.

6. Start a shell (it's at the bottom of the list of choices).  Check
that the new filesystems are mounted under /target.

7. change to the directory where you put isofs.o, and run "insmod
./isofs.o".  This enables mounting CDROMs.

8. Mount the CDROM with "mount -r -t iso9660 /mnt".

9. Use "star" to untar the filesystems.  For example: "cd /target;
star </mnt/root.tar".

10. Edit /target/etc/fstab if your target filesystems are on different
devices than the source systems's.

11. Reboot from floppy.  At the "boot:" prompt, type "linux
root=/dev/hda1" (or whatever the root filesystem is).  The system will
boot the kernel from the floppy, but use the root on the hard drive.

12. Log in and run "lilo" to create the boot record.

13. Reboot and poof! That's all there was to it.

Comments are welcome.

Steven Gaarder                              Network and Systems Administrator
gaarder@actech.com                          A C Technology, Ithaca, N.Y., USA

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