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Raspberry Pi fast deep data capture question 
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Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:00 pm
Posts: 21
Real Name: John Hodges
Now with two RasPi, time to learn to clone the sdhc than now contains a month's worth of OLI collective wisdom. There's too many web how-to's! Adafruit's was awful: the Fedora imaging tool didn't offer Raspbian, took over an hour to download, ~10 minutes to burn, and Fedora is 10x slower to boot. ... The win32DiskImager tool apparently can't backup ext4.

Many suggest doing the clone operation on the Pi itself, with dd. This strikes me odd: there's issues with backup of a running system, and pi lacks onboard storage big enough to put an sdhc image file, so one would need both an external usb-sdhc adapter plus an external usb disk. Doing the operation on an Ubuntu box with big local hard disk sidesteps all these problems, no?

Some say use dd on Ubuntu, but in previous work backing up WinXP systems with RescueCD, I found 'partimage' worked better. Its not on Ubuntu 10.04, but Synaptic installed it a few seconds. Partimage mentions ext3, but not ext4 (and calls it ext3fs) but what the heck. I plug my RasPi sdhc in a usb adapter, Gparted shows the 4Gb partition as /dev/sdb2. I learned you gotta umount but not "safely remove' the sdhc after Ubuntu automatically mounts it. Then partimage created a 500 Mb image file on Ubuntu's hard disk in 4 minutes. Someone on the web reported that dd takes 16 minutes.

I'm no expert, but knew that partimage copies partitions, not whole physical devices. Rather than learn about MBRs and all that, I thought to try first on a virgin Raspbian sdhc I'd just learned to make on my laptop with Win32DiskImager.exe; maybe the FAT and swap partitions could be left untouched? I had to use Gparted to increase their 1.8Gb partition to 4Gb, but then it worked.. Partimage wrote my image file to /sdb2 in 4 minutes without fussing. The resulting sdhc boots on RasPi just like my HackNight-configured one. Samba runs, my best proof it's not the virgin Raspbian it was.

I post in hopes some of you Pi and Linux experts will correct and improve.

thanks, John.

Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:06 pm
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 3:49 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Treasure Valley
Real Name: Matt
This article came across my Twitter feed the other day and looks to do what you want. I will be trying this process myself in the next few weeks...

Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:58 am
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