How to clone working nanobsd thumbdrive to identical drive for a spare

  • I have a basic install of pfsense on an ECS J1800 with 8G ram and a dual HP (rebranded Intel) NIC.
    Everything has been working great for 6 months now. I can pull the power and the system will auto reboot when the power is restored.
    My only concern now is I would like to have a spare thumb drive that is identical to the one my system runs off of. This is a 'just in case I'm not home' spare to be used if the system didn't boot after a power failure that my family could plug in if necessary.
    Has anybody duplicated or cloned their thumb drives and if so what is the recommended procedure.
    I know I could just make a new install on a new drive and set it up identical to the one I am running now, but then I would have to pull the system out of its location and attach keyboard, monitor, etc.
    I want to do it the easy way.


    • shut down the system gracefully (from console or the web interface), let the box power off by itself (to make sure filesystems stay cleanly unmounted)
    • pull out the thumbdrive
    • use a linux pc, this command as root:
      dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc
      where /dev/sdb is the original thumbdrive, and /dev/sdc is the new one.
      you could also do a
      dd if=/dev/sdb of=/root/your_pfsense_backup.img
      to make a backup to an image file on the computer. you can restore it later from file with
      dd if=/root/your_pfsense_backup.img of=/dev/sdc
      if you don't have linux on your pc installed, just grab any ubuntu desktop iso, burn it to a DVD and boot it as a LiveCD.

  • Thanks,

    I'll give this a go.

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