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Date:      Sun, 29 Jan 2017 22:18:34 -0700 (MST)
From:      Warren Block <>
To:        David Christensen <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE-p7 i386 system drive imaging and migration
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <>

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On Sun, 29 Jan 2017, David Christensen wrote:

> On 01/29/17 05:27, Warren Block wrote:
>> On Sat, 28 Jan 2017, David Christensen wrote:
>>> What is the proper way to clone a FreeBSD system image from one drive
>>> to another?
>> On encrypted ZFS?  I'm not sure there is a brute-force way that is
>> trustworthy.  Using higher-level commands to recreate the partitions,
>> GELI encryption, and then zfs send | recv are certain safer and won't
>> duplicate supposedly unique IDs.
> toor@freebsd:/root # gpart show
> =>      63  31277169  ada0  MBR  (15G)
>        63         1        - free -  (512B)
>        64  31277160     1  freebsd  [active]  (15G)
>  31277224         8        - free -  (4.0K)
> =>       0  31277160  ada0s1  BSD  (15G)
>         0   4194304       1  freebsd-zfs  (2.0G)
>   4194304   4194304       2  freebsd-swap  (2.0G)
>   8388608  22888544       4  freebsd-zfs  (11G)
>  31277152         8          - free -  (4.0K)
> It appears that my FreeBSD image lives within what Microsoft and Linux would 
> call a single MBR primary partition (FreeBSD "slice"?), and that FreeBSD 
> further subdivides that into boot, swap, and root sections (FreeBSD 
> "partitions"?).

Yes.  I think the 11.0 installer made the mistaken assumption that 
machines that boot from BIOS must (or should) use MBR/disklabel.

> STFW RTFM there is information scattered in many places.  Is there a concise 
> document that explains what is relevant for creating, cloning, migrating, 
> etc., FreeBSD 11 r7 system drives -- what the on-disk data structures are, 
> how to back up them and their contents, how to recreate the structures on a 
> blank drive, how to restore  contents, how to deal with size, identifier, 
> serial number, crypto key, etc., changes, etc.?

Not that I know of.  What you are talking about is a combination of 
numerous different systems. I talk about partitioning here:

But if you are using encryption, that means GELI (geli(8)).

>>> What is the proper way to move a HDD or SSD with a FreeBSD system
>>> image from one computer to another computer?
>> Provided the binaries have not been optimized for one CPU, just move the
>> drive.  Disk drive names can change, which is not a problem when labels
>> are used.
> It looks like I got lucky on device names.  Where are slice/ partition/ 
> filesystem labels documented, notably the strategies and procedures for using 
> them?

See glabel(8).

>> Ethernet interface names can change.  If there is only one
>> interface, use ifconfig_DEFAULT in /etc/rc.conf.
> Regarding the network interface, my /etc/rc.conf contains shell variable 
> assignments.  What am I to assign to 'ifconfig_DEFAULT'?

Usually, SYNCDHCP:


It functions the same as ifconfig_em0 or _re0 or whatever, but for all 
interfaces with no other settings.

> RTFM 'ifconfig_DEFAULT' I draw blank:
> toor@freebsd:/root # grep ifconfig_DEFAULT /etc/rc.conf /etc/defaults/rc.conf
> toor@freebsd:/root # man rc.conf | grep ifconfig_DEFAULT

setenv PAGER less
man rc.conf
and press Enter.

> The Xfce application issues appeared both when:
> 1.  The FreeBSD system drive image was copied to another drive and then 
> booted in the source machine.
> 2.  The FreeBSD system drive was booted in another machine.
> What is causing the Xfce issues?

No idea.  I have moved hard drives from one machine to another, and in 
fact wrote an installer that sets up FreeBSD to be used on a generic 
machine with Xfce.

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