[svlug] bootable disk image install

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri May 26 00:11:15 PDT 2000

begin  Samuel Eliott quotation:

> I need to make a bootable CD that would install a duplicate of my hard
> drive onto another machine or machines.  I am running red hat 6.2 and
> would like to install it onto a similar machine with the same size
> hard drive.  How can I do this?  I would prefer to use non-commercial
> products.

How 'bout you just cut a copy of your filesystem directly to CD-ROM,
and then use a Tom's root-boot floppy (http://www.toms.net/rb/) to 
boot each new machine or machines?  Upon booting that, you're running 
on a RAMdisk:  Mount your CD-ROM filesystem (as type ext2, assuming you
cut it to disk that way) at some convenient RAMdisk mountpoint.  Mount
your destination hard drive to another.  Then, copy the contents using

  'tar Sczfp - old' | 'cd new; tar Sxvzfp -'


  cp -ax old new

where "old" and "new" are the dirspecs of the tops of the file trees.

(Don't try the "cp" version on crufty proprietary Unixes.  It works on 
Linux because we have the GNU version of cp.)

Two other things:  Since it sounds like you're thinking of copying your
entire file tree, if using the "cp" method, you'll need to recreate the
/proc directory on the destination.  Also, you'll undoubtedly need to 
re-run /sbin/lilo to make the new hard drive properly bootable.  Again,
do this by booting a maintenance floppy such as Tom's root-boot, mount
your newly created hard drive partition to the RAMdisk's /mnt directory,
and then run "/mnt/sbin/lilo -r /mnt -v".  And you're done.

> I have created disk images using mkisofs and I have even combined them
> with a boot.img, but I could not make it install a disk image.

In this case, you'll probably _not_ want to run mkisofs, because you
probably want to burn a raw ext2 filesystem.  See section 4.4 of the 
CD-Writing HOWTO.

(By the way, I believe you mean non-proprietary, not "non-commercial".
Software under a free licence can be sold, and very often is.  That
makes it by definition commercial.)

Rick Moen                           Never ask a sysadmin "What's up?"
rick (at) linuxmafia.com

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