Clone a live partition on a remote server
| Clone a live partition on a remote server|
Organic Design procedure
Sometimes you need to clone the active partition, for example when you want to move it onto a large hard drive and you don't have physical access to the machine. Sometimes you may need to clone onto a smaller partition, for example if you're moving to an SSD, which raises extra complications.
Cloning a live partition is risky because the data is constantly changing which means that the target data may contain partially written files or other inconsistencies. For this reason the usual partition tools do not allow it, and a low-level tool needs to be used instead. We've done this before successfully by shutting down all services first and then doing a disk check afterwards. If any problems show up in the disk check they can be fixed and the affected directories manually copied from the source disk. This procedure was documented during the process of moving a live Ubuntu 14 operating system over from a stand-alone drive to a RAID array which had slightly smaller sized disks.
To begin with check which device you'll be copying from, and which you're copying to. Sometimes it can be quite difficult to be sure if some of your devices have very similar layout and specifications, especially if you have a number of similarly sized unformatted disks for example. The lsscsi command which shows manufacturer information about the devices, can sometimes be of help, for example in our procedure it was very hard to know whether /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc was the RAID device since both were unformatted 1TB devices, but lsscsi shows that /dev/sdc is using our 9650SE RAID controller.
# lsscsi [0:0:0:0] disk AMCC 9650SE-2LP DISK 4.10 /dev/sdc [1:0:0:0] disk ATA Hitachi HUA72201 JP4O /dev/sda [2:0:0:0] disk ATA TOSHIBA MG03ACA1 FL1A /dev/sdb
Next, stop all major services like MySQL and Apache then use the dd utility to clone the device which is the most common method of doing it on Linux. This could take a long time, it will probably be a couple of hours for a terrabyte of data.
dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdc bs=32M
Note: If the target device is smaller than the source device, then the last partition will now have invalid information because it will be listed as being larger than the extent of the physical device. This will mean that it can't be mounted and partition editors such as parted will refuse to deal with it. If this is the case you'll need to delete it using fdisk then the "d" command and selecting "3" for the number. Also if this is the case you can stop the dd transfer after a few minutes - just long enough to have transferred the boot and swap partitions (assuming that your last partition is the largest with all the data on it).
You can then use a simpler tool such as parted to create the partition again and then use dd again but this time just cloning the individual partition, not the whoe disk:
dd if=/dev/sda3 of=/dev/sdc3 bs=4096
Now whether or not you had a smaller target size you now need to run e2fsck to remove all errors from the drive (there will almost certainly be some since the source was changing during the cloning process). If you did have a smaller target size then you will also get a warning about the filesystem's size being too large, just tell it not to abort and carry on with the check and fix all errors.
# e2fsck -f /dev/sdc3 e2fsck 1.42.9 (4-Feb-2014) The filesystem size (according to the superblock) is 243068416 blocks The physical size of the device is 243015936 blocks Either the superblock or the partition table is likely to be corrupt! Abort<y>? no Clearing orphaned inode 7864391 (uid=0, gid=0, mode=0100640, size=89) Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes Inode 32899082, end of extent exceeds allowed value (logical block 6, physical block 152092839, len 1) Clear<y>? yes Pass 2: Checking directory structure Entry 'config.autogenerated' in /var/lib/exim4 (32511225) has deleted/unused inode 32508135. Clear<y>? yes Entry 'shadow' in /etc (46923777) has deleted/unused inode 46925882. Clear<y>? yes Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity Pass 4: Checking reference counts Unattached inode 32508134 Connect to /lost+found<y>? yes Inode 32508134 ref count is 2, should be 1. Fix<y>? yes Unattached inode 46924127 Connect to /lost+found<y>? yes Inode 46924127 ref count is 2, should be 1. Fix<y>? yes Pass 5: Checking group summary information Block bitmap differences: -(130090912--130090917) +(130091346--130091351) Fix<y>? yes Free blocks count wrong (112542074, counted=112507183). Fix<y>? yes Inode bitmap differences: +46924127 -46925882 Fix<y>? yes Free inodes count wrong (60542803, counted=60543874). Fix<y>? yes
If you had the smaller target issue, then now run the resize2fs utility to force the filesystem size to the physical size partition as shown above so it will be mountable.
# resize2fs -p /dev/sdc3 243015936 resize2fs 1.42.9 (4-Feb-2014) Resizing the filesystem on /dev/sdc3 to 243015936 (4k) blocks. Begin pass 3 (max = 7418) Scanning inode table XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX The filesystem on /dev/sdc3 is now 243015936 blocks long.
Before mounting the partition and fixing the errors, we need to make the disk ID and the partitions UUID unique, because they'll be exact copies of the source devices IDs. You can see this with the blkid command:
# blkid /dev/sda1: UUID="bc459b13-3aad-4017-a68b-ce8ab36275e1" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sda2: UUID="c57f1400-129a-402a-90f1-820a22c6a2fe" TYPE="swap" /dev/sda3: UUID="b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b" TYPE="ext4" /dev/sdc1: UUID="bc459b13-3aad-4017-a68b-ce8ab36275e1" SEC_TYPE="ext2" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sdc2: UUID="c57f1400-129a-402a-90f1-820a22c6a2fe" TYPE="swap" /dev/sdc3: UUID="b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b" TYPE="ext4"
You can generate new UUIDs with the uuidgen command, then use tune2fs to update the UUID of each partition:
# uuidgen 81d40a02-8019-4c1f-afb8-fb41d117c6d1 # tune2fs /dev/sdc1 -U 81d40a02-8019-4c1f-afb8-fb41d117c6d1 tune2fs 1.42.9 (4-Feb-2014)
The UUID of the swap partition has to be done slightly differently, we need to actually make the system use the partition as a swap file and set its UUID in the process.
swapoff /dev/sda2 mkswap -U 86ce60b7-ad4a-44aa-88e2-2aefd5c6c396 /dev/sdc2 Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 3999740 KiB no label, UUID=86ce60b7-ad4a-44aa-88e2-2aefd5c6c396
Then check that they're all unique by doing blkid again:
# blkid /dev/sda1: UUID="bc459b13-3aad-4017-a68b-ce8ab36275e1" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sda2: UUID="c57f1400-129a-402a-90f1-820a22c6a2fe" TYPE="swap" /dev/sda3: UUID="b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b" TYPE="ext4" /dev/sdc1: UUID="81d40a02-8019-4c1f-afb8-fb41d117c6d1" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sdc2: UUID="86ce60b7-ad4a-44aa-88e2-2aefd5c6c396" TYPE="swap" /dev/sdc3: UUID="c23ab65a-c32f-41e3-bd31-51ed563e0099" TYPE="ext4"
Finally we also need to set the disk identifier as well which can be done with the "i" option from fdisk, but only after selecting expert settings with the "x" command. Then quit that and check the result with fdisk -l (my new ID is c0ffeeee)
# fdisk -l Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x00055af8 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 2048 976895 487424 83 Linux /dev/sda2 976896 8976383 3999744 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sda3 8976384 1953523711 972273664 83 Linux Disk /dev/sdc: 1000.0 GB, 999989182464 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121575 cylinders, total 1953103872 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0xc0ffeeee Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdc1 * 2048 976895 487424 83 Linux /dev/sdc2 976896 8976383 3999744 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sdc3 8976384 1953103871 972063744 83 Linux
Now we can mount the main OS partition and do an rsync to make it match the source partition properly, and then when that's done you can restart all the services you stopped.
mkdir /media/raid mount -t ext4 /dev/sdc3 /media/raid rsync -a --exclude=/boot --exclude=/proc --exclude=/dev --exclude=/sys --exclude=/media / /media/raid/
Note: if you got any errors about bitmap images, then it's probably a better idea to copy the files over manually with cp -pR because this will mean that rsync may miss updating some corrupted files since their size and modified date will not have changed.
And then finally we change all our UUIDs in /etc/fstab (on both partitions) to match the /dev/sdc partitions instead of the /dev/sda ones (just comment the current settings out so they can be reverted easily). You can use blkid to get all the partitions UUIDs and then cat /etc/fstab afterwards to double check that they're all correct, e.g.
Note: make sure you update /etc/fstab in the mounted new partition as well.
# cat /etc/fstab #UUID=b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1 UUID=c23ab65a-c32f-41e3-bd31-51ed563e0099 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1 #UUID=bc459b13-3aad-4017-a68b-ce8ab36275e1 /boot ext3 defaults 0 2 UUID=81d40a02-8019-4c1f-afb8-fb41d117c6d1 /boot ext3 defaults 0 2 #UUID=86ce60b7-ad4a-44aa-88e2-2aefd5c6c396 none swap sw 0 0 UUID=c57f1400-129a-402a-90f1-820a22c6a2fe none swap sw 0 0
# blkid /dev/sda1: UUID="bc459b13-3aad-4017-a68b-ce8ab36275e1" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sda2: UUID="86ce60b7-ad4a-44aa-88e2-2aefd5c6c396" TYPE="swap" /dev/sda3: UUID="b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b" TYPE="ext4" /dev/sdc1: UUID="81d40a02-8019-4c1f-afb8-fb41d117c6d1" TYPE="ext3" /dev/sdc2: UUID="c57f1400-129a-402a-90f1-820a22c6a2fe" TYPE="swap" /dev/sdc3: UUID="c23ab65a-c32f-41e3-bd31-51ed563e0099" TYPE="ext4"
You can test whether the OS actually runs in your new partition before rebooting by doing chroot /media/raid/ which will make the new partition into the new Linux root. Stop all services that listen on external ports in the main OS first so you can start them in the chroot OS and then test that they're working properly.
If it's all running fine, then it's time to switch over the boot configuration to the new partition. We've found that there can be major headaches with UUID for the root partition not updating to the new one, so we recommend manually changing the UUIDs over and rebooting first, then adjusting the old partition so that it's not a candidate for root partition selection any more, then re-installing grub the normal way.
So first, change the UUIDs in grub.cfg in both boot partitions:
perl -pi -w -e 's/b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b/c23ab65a-c32f-41e3-bd31-51ed563e0099/g;' /boot/grub/grub.cfg mkdir /media/raidboot mount -t ext4 /dev/sdc1 /media/raidboot perl -pi -w -e 's/b56d82f7-5817-4a52-9763-0b38aa360e2b/c23ab65a-c32f-41e3-bd31-51ed563e0099/g;' /media/raidboot/grub/grub.cfg
Now, cross fingers and reboot!
If it comes back, then lsblk should show that you're fully running on the new partition:
NAME MAJ:MIN RM SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT sda 8:0 0 931.5G 0 disk ├─sda1 8:1 0 476M 0 part ├─sda2 8:2 0 3.8G 0 part └─sda3 8:3 0 927.2G 0 part sdb 8:16 0 931.5G 0 disk sdc 8:32 0 931.3G 0 disk ├─sdc1 8:33 0 476M 0 part /boot ├─sdc2 8:34 0 3.8G 0 part [SWAP] └─sdc3 8:35 0 927G 0 part /
If so, then we can now make the old drive's boot partition non-bootable in your favourite tool like cfdisk or parted, then move some files out of the old OS partition so that the grub installer will ignore that as a root partition candidate.
mkdir /media/old mount -t ext4 /dev/sda3 /media/old cd /media/old mkdir backup mv init* backup mv vm* backup mv etc backup cd / umount /dev/sda3
Then run the usual procedure to install grub. We need to do this because the file we edited is auto-generated, so we need to make sure it's auto-generating to boot off our new partition, the current boot configuration is not persistent.
# grub-install /dev/sdc Installing for i386-pc platform. Installation finished. No error reported. # update-grub Generating grub configuration file ... Warning: Setting GRUB_TIMEOUT to a non-zero value when GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT is set is no longer supported. Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-3.13.0-52-generic Found initrd image: /boot/initrd.img-3.13.0-52-generic Found unknown Linux distribution on /dev/sda3
Notice how it says that's it's found an unknown Linux distribution on the old partition? That's good, it means it hasn't used it as a root partition candidate. You might want to check the /boot/grub/grub.cfg that has been generated just to be certain that the only UUID it's using is the new /dev/sdc3 partition.
If the file looks good, then that's it! You're done! Reboot again and that's the persistent final state of the machine.