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Q&A How do I migrate my main filesystem to a new drive?

Gnome disks can create a disk image, and then restore it to the new one. The new drive has to be same size or larger, although this is obvious. If it is larger, the partition will still be small, ...

posted 2mo ago by matthewsnyder‭  ·  edited 2mo ago by Karl Knechtel‭

Answer
#2: Post edited by user avatar Karl Knechtel‭ · 2024-04-09T05:06:04Z (2 months ago)
improve clarity and fix some typos in stride
  • Gnome disks can create a disk image, and then restore it to the new one.
  • The new drive has to be same size or larger, although this is obvious. If it is larger, the partition will still be small, but I find it easier to resize it after the fact.
  • It's better if the sector size also matches: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Advanced_Format
  • There are also other tools listed in https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Disk_cloning
  • One important thing is that if it's you **main** filesystem then you it will be mounter, since you're probably on it. Virtually all the tools require unmounting the original FS first, because "hot" cloning is much more complicated. However, how do you unmount the FS you are running your OS from?
  • Usually, you want to boot from a Live USB and do the cloning from there. Gparted has a specialized (and small) Live USB.
  • Gnome disks can create a disk image, and then restore it to the new one.
  • The new drive has to be same size or larger, although this is obvious. If it is larger, the partition will still be small, but I find it easier to resize it after the fact.
  • It's better if the sector size also matches: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Advanced_Format
  • There are also other tools listed in https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Disk_cloning
  • Note that, if you want to clone the root filesystem, it will usually be necessary to boot from a Live USB and do the cloning from there. Disk cloning tools will generally require unmounting the original filesystem first, because "hot" cloning is much more complicated. Using a live boot makes it possible to keep the root filesystem unmounted (since the OS is no longer running from it). GParted offers a specialized (and small) Live USB for this purpose.
#1: Initial revision by user avatar matthewsnyder‭ · 2024-04-07T23:00:42Z (2 months ago)
Gnome disks can create a disk image, and then restore it to the new one.

The new drive has to be same size or larger, although this is obvious. If it is larger, the partition will still be small, but I find it easier to resize it after the fact.

It's better if the sector size also matches: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Advanced_Format

There are also other tools listed in https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Disk_cloning

One important thing is that if it's you **main** filesystem then you it will be mounter, since you're probably on it. Virtually all the tools require unmounting the original FS first, because "hot" cloning is much more complicated. However, how do you unmount the FS you are running your OS from?

Usually, you want to boot from a Live USB and do the cloning from there. Gparted has a specialized (and small) Live USB.