Making spare/backup USB sticks



  • I have been using dd to make backup copies my bootable/running USB stick of pfSense for years.  Last night, I made a copy of 2.2.5 and it will not boot.  It tries to mount / from /dev/ufsid/######12345.  I have never seen this before.  I have always been booting from /dev/da0s1a.  The ufsid number it tries to boot from matches the one from the original USB stick.  So I try to change it to the one that this instance of pfSense labels the USB /dev/ufsid/#####0987 and it will not boot. Did something change in 2.2.5?



  • If the backup device is smaller than the source device it may be truncated.



  • Both 16GB, they are different types so I guess they could be a few megabytes off, however dd did not report any issues.  Now that you mention it, all of the ones I have done in the past were 4 or 8GB.  Is something special about going above 8GB?  Any idea why it is referencing /dev/ufsid/#### instead of /dev/da0s1a?


  • Banned

    Suggestion: stop using dd! Why don't you just install pfSense properly and restore the configuration backup? Dunno where this dd backup "method" comes from.



  • There are many reasons to have a quick simple way to have spare pfSense backups since I have had quite a few USB sticks loose their cookies.  The main one is so my wife can just replace a dead one while I am out of town.  The question remains why did something I have been using for years suddenly quit.  Yes there are other ways to achieve the same result, just trying to understand what is going on.



  • I use this script (attached) for making USB media backups.

    Globally replace /vvar in DevDup.sh with the path.

    DevDup.zip


  • Banned

    @CyberTiVo:

    There are many reasons to have a quick simple way to have spare pfSense backups since I have had quite a few USB sticks loose their cookies.

    Yes, there are many reason to have a backup. There are zero reasons to make backups by using completely broken methods like trying to dd a live system. Absolutely horrible idea leading to inconsistent state and broken filesystem.


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