Cloning Hard Drives w/ FreeBSD Linux Windows NetBSD OpenBSD Made Easy (no really)

OK that subject line is mostly for the googlers. Goodness knows I’ve googled similar and never found what I was looking for.

Off and on for months I’ve been looking for a way to clone hard drives on other platforms as effectively as we do on the Macintosh with Carbon Copy Cloner. Sadly I never could find software near as cool. Until today. Snippets from their website:

g4u (“ghost for unix”) is a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of PCs using FTP. The floppy/CD offers two functions. The first is to upload the compressed image of a local harddisk to a FTP server, the other is to restore that image via FTP, uncompress it and write it back to disk. [it also does local disk cloning -ed] …

4.4 Copying a disk locally
If you just want to copy one local disk to another one with no network & server involved, the “copydisk” command is what you want. E.g. to copy the first IDE disk to the second IDE disk, use “copydisk wd0 wd1”, to do the same for SCSI disks run “copydisk sd0 sd1”.
Beware! All data on the target disk will be erased!
A list of disks as found during system startup can be found using the “disks” command.

5.1 Supported filesystems
One of the questions arising a lot is “what filesystems does g4u support”. The answer is: “all of them”. g4u reads the disk bit by bit, starting from byte #0 to the end. It includes any MBR, boot record, partition table and the partitions themselves without further investigating the structure of the data stored in these partitions.

5.2 Supported Operating Systems
The question on operating systems that can be deployed with g4u is the same as for the filesystems: any. Given the image-approach again, g4u is able to handle any operating system. Systems that were cloned successfully include NetBSD, Linux, Novell Netware 4.11 and 5.1, Solaris/x86, Windows NT, 2000 and XP.

This is not for your average end user but for anyone with even rudimentary tech skills this totally rocks. I need it for regular Windows and Unix stuff but I’m also going to try it instead of the TiVo software I’ve been using too. No reason why it won’t work!

I have not used it yet but googled I up some positive reviews. I’ll post a review in the next day or two.

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For you old C64 crackers it’s just like Copy Two Plus and Nibbler! LOL

London Bombing Mastermind Captured In Pakistan
But will Rob Lowe attend the grand opening?


  1. arb July 20, 2005
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