Full backup: Clonezilla does not support pfSense filesystem, any other, please??

  • I would like to have full backups (not just configurations) with full-disk-images so if something goes wrong, backtracking is very easy…

    Norton Ghost, DriveImage, Clonezilla etc, do not not support pfSense filesystem (and i cannot use "dd" due to size limitations)..

    Does anyone know a way to perform the "total_super_mega_full" backup, please??? how are you doing in this case? (my machines are not virtual).

    Thanks in advance,


  • When you say size limitations - size limitations where? I've imaged 200GB+ disks before using dd.

  • Hi Cry Havok…

    with size limitations i mean that my disk is 500GB but i use < 1GB and i need to put the drive image into a USB key...



  • Well if the part of the disk you're using is only the first GB, then just dd this first GB.
    You can specify a size with dd.

  • Thanks Gruens…

    it is a good idea, but you assumes that the information is all togheter at the beginning of the disk, but in real life, it may be anywhere in the disk... (i am not an expert in UFS but i guess this is how it works)

    i am just looking for a quick bare metal restore system....



  • If you have a single 1 GB partition it will be at the start of the disk. If you have a 500 GB partition that has 1 GB of data then yes, the data may be anywhere.

    Which describes your situation?

  • The second one, Cry Havok… it is a 500GB partition and only 1GB used...

    I am starting wondering if the solution may be to have much smaller partitions...

  • A smaller partition would help a lot.

    You may get away with a dd image of the boot sector and an rsync snapshot of the data. You'll probably be a lot better off starting from fresh with a partition slightly smaller than your USB stick (so, if you have an 8 GB USB stick go for a partition no more than 7.75 GB).

  • I agre, Cry Havok… the only issue is that the FW is in production right now... :-( so i cannot modify partitions...

    i am not used to rsync, but... can i use it (obviously with an unmounted partition) to copy ALL the partition??? including /dev and so on...??? are you sure???


  • It copies the contents of the partition (and you can use it on a live partition), not the partition itself.

    At this point however if you're after a bare metal recovery your only sensible option is to create a duplicate, using the built in backup and recovery options. Size that to suit your intended backup/recovery solution. Skimping on doing it right now isn't going to help you down the line.

  • @pedreter:

    The second one, Cry Havok… it is a 500GB partition and only 1GB used...

    I am starting wondering if the solution may be to have much smaller partitions...

    I assumed it's just a 1GB partition ^^"

    But since most of these 500GB are empty… you should be able to compress it on the fly.
    something like

      # dd if=/dev/hda conv=sync,noerror bs=64K | gzip -c  > /mnt/sda1/hda.img.gz

    (yes it's linux and not freebsd)
    But i dont really know if dd and gzip on freebsd are chainable.

    I think this page shows you the available solutions :)
    It seems using "dump" combined with gzip should do best what you're trying to do.

  • Are you running a bunch of packages, have you customized something?
    A backup and restore of the config is usually the best way to do this, and it fits on a usb key.
    I like to have spare pfsense boxes around with enough interfaces, so I can grab one, restore the config and swap it in case of disaster. Much easier (IMHO) than trying to restore an image. Again the circumstances might be different if you had to re-create some customization/hacking, or had complex packages installed.

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