Today's project - partimage enhancement

Tim Abell · March 13, 2007

me and partimage

I recently reorganised the partitions on my laptop, with the help of some invaluable OSS tools.

The laptop was split into OS partitions, with a data and swap partition at the end, but I’d starting running out of space. I have since made ubuntu my only OS at home, so no longer require multiple partitions. My partition table ended up looking something like this: data | OS | more data | swap, and I wanted it to look like this: OS & data | swap, but without having to rebuild (again).

With another linux box available with bags of disc space, I did something like the following:

  • from each data partition and my home folder: tar -cv datafolder | ssh otherbox "cat > laptop/datafolder.tar", which gave me a tarball of all my data
  • boot into knoppix 4
  • use partimage to save os parition image into filesystem of another partition
  • scp osimage.img otherbox:laptop/
  • fdisk to set up new partitions
  • pipe the image back into partimage across the wire: ssh otherbox "cat laptop/osimage.img" | partimage .... plus some flags for batch writing to new partition
  • use parted (partition editor) to stretch partition image back up to full size of new partition.
  • fix grub with help from knoppix - hda(0,2) to hda(0,0) or something.
  • remove references to non existent partitions from fstab

Which was all great, but I feel there’s a feature missing from partimage. Although it can read an image from stdin for writing to disc, it can’t write an image to stdout from disc. This would have saved me some thinking and some hassle. So in the true spirit of OSS, I shall have a go at adding the functionality.

So far, I have grabbed the source from sourceforge’s svn server, managed to compile the source (after being confused by a misleading error message) and installed an IDE. I started with Eclipse, as I’ve been using it a bit recently and really like it, but figure that perhaps the C++ devs aren’t likely to be java fans and maybe they would choose something else. So I’ve installed KDevelop, and will be having a go with that.

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Suggest improvments: page source on github