Image server across network

J. Epperson Dell at
Wed Mar 18 18:16:48 CDT 2009

It will go faster if you zero out the free space first (dd if=/dev/zero
of=bigfile;rm bigfile) and pipe the dd command Patrick suggests through
lzop.  The processing time trade-off for the compression will be less than
the transfer time for the raw image, in my experience.  Zeroing out the
free space is key, lets the compression work best.

Or just stick Filezilla or the ftp server of your choice on the Vista box
and use g4l:

It's a Linux boot environment that basically does a dd through lzop and
netcat to an ftp server.  I've imaged Poweredges with it for several
years.  Nice menu front end, good to have when you need to restore and
don't have time to think through how to do it from the command line.

On Wed, March 18, 2009 18:26, Patrick_Boyd at wrote:
> As long as you're happy with dd, just mount a network share off your
> desktop and run dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/share/file.img bs=512... may take
> a while for 140GB depending on network speed though.
> If you want it faster you may want to look into actual file backup
> utilities (as opposed to block), such as BackupPC. Or something like
> rsync.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: linux-poweredge-bounces at
> [mailto:linux-poweredge-bounces at] On Behalf Of Jeff Boyce
> Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 5:19 PM
> To: linux-poweredge-Lists
> Subject: Image server across network
> Greetings -
> I have a PE2600 that I am scheduling some maintenance on (e.g., firmware
> updates).  This is my only Linux box in my small office and is used
> mainly
> as a Samba file server for about 10 Windows clients.  Before I conduct
> the
> firmware upgrades I plan on making an image of my server so that it can
> be
> restored easily if anything goes bad during the firmware updates.  I
> have
> done this in the past by attaching a portable usb hard drive directly to
> my
> server, boot the server to a live linux CD, and issue a command such as:
> dd
> if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=8192 conv=noerror,sync.  Where sda is my
> raid5
> virtual drive and sdb is the usb drive.
> The problem is that with my PE2600 the usb device is very slow (usb
> 1.0),
> and in order to image the entire 140 GB it takes about 36 hours.  I am
> wondering if there is a more efficient way for me to create my server
> image,
> such as connect the portable usb hard drive to my desktop system (a new
> Optiplex 755 running Vista), which has a faster usb connection, and
> create
> the image across the network connection.  I use Putty and NX Client from
> NoMachine to connect to the server from my desktop system, although I
> could
> also boot to a live linux CD at my desktop if necessary.  Is this a
> feasible
> option for what I am trying to do?  And can anyone give me some pointers
> on
> how I would go about doing this?  Thanks.
> Jeff Boyce
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