How to clone a running Linux system over network using netcat

This is a short but potentially extremely handy guide to ghosting one Linux box to another (or simply making a full backup of a desktop/server).

On the target machine:

nc -p 2222 -l | bzip2 -d | dd of=/dev/hdb

On the source machine:

bzip2 -c /dev/hda | nc 10.111.1.206 2222

Note:

  • please be VERY careful about IPs, devices and ports.
  • after completion of dd command you have to run fsck on target partitions

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