Cover V10, I06


New Messages

From: Yat Chow <>
Subject: Sys Admin article -- ufsdump

I am writing in regard to your article, "Quick and Dirty Server/Workstation Replication Using ufsdump", in the Sys Admin April 2001 issue.

1. On Step 2 - Step 3, you called for installation of Solaris OS (only to be erased later). You can save yourself a lot of time by booting it off the CD in single user mode:

boot cdrom -sw
Then, use format command to partition your drive. This will achieve the same result in less than 5 min.

2. After Step 4, you will need to install the boot block or the system won't boot up. Mount the /usr partition that you have just restored:

# mount /dev/dsk/c0t0d0s2 /a
# cd /a/platform/`uname -i`/lib/fs/ufs
# installlboot ./bootblk /dev/rdsk/c0t0d0s0
This will place the bootblock at the beginning of the drive c0t0d0s0.

3. On Step 5, you said setenv boot-command disk0, I am not sure if that's what you want to do. Should it be:

setenv boot-device disk0
"boot-command" is just what the parameter does; it is the command it will execute upon booting up. Then "boot-device" is the device it will boot from. So, during boot up, it will do:

boot disk0
<Boot-command> <boot-devices> <option>
4. A very important thing to remember about cloning systems (if the two systems are different hardware) is the architecture of the systems. Do uname -i to find out the architecture. of your system. You cannot clone systems on different architecture machines. Believe me, I tried many times without success. Most of the new Sun system are "sun4u" architecture, only old systems are "sun4m". So, this is one thing that might cause the system to fail to boot up.

Yours, Yat (Calvin) Chow

To: "'Yat Chow'" <>,
Subject: RE: Sys Admin article -- ufsdump
Dear Mr. Chow:

Thanks for the careful read of our article. In reply to your comments:

1. You are correct about saving time to boot from the CD and use format. Our first draft of this article did just that. But it was very difficult to explain how to use format to set up the disk partitions, especially when the disk sizes are not the same between the original and clone systems. We spent two paragraphs alone explaining what "Free Hog partition" meant. We decided that rather than confuse readers with the various partitioning options that Sun's format command uses, we would make it very easy by using the install "boot cdrom - install" command and have the reader fill in the graphical partition table. Granted, this takes about 15 minutes extra to load the system up just to overwrite it later, but it saves many headaches.

2. If you use the format command as you recommend, you would have to install the boot. But using our method, the Solaris install CD puts the boot block in for you as part of its built-in installation script. Thus, the reader will not have to perform this step. I've successfully done this on many systems here in-house.

3. You write: "On Step 5, you said setenv boot-command disk0, I am not sure if that's what you want to do. Should it be:"

setenv boot-device disk0
You make a great point here. And I agree wholeheartedly, which is why we added the caveat at the end of the article that: "Cloning works best if the clone machine has the same hardware as the original machine ..." Perhaps we should have stated our point a bit more.

Again, thanks for your comments. We really appreciate them. It just goes to show that there are many ways to perform a given task.

Ben Diamond

I also received some letters in support of James O'Gorman's script title (April issue). Here's a sample:

From: Gary Luther (
Subject: Viagra: Keeping Services Running on BSD (Feb 2001)

I am writing to support James O'Gorman and his article. Victoria Sadoff wrote chastizing his reference to penises. Since I didn't think such a reference would make it past the editing table, I reread the article several times to see if perhaps I had become jaded in what was acceptable. I found the use of the word Viagra 6 times including the title and the program listing. Since it was the name of the script (clearly the author's choice), James made reference to his admittedly plagiarized script only 4 times. Nowhere in the article was there a direct reference to penis(es). Not wanting to be offensive -- perhaps James could rename his script BobDole.

Thanks to all for writing. I appreciate the comments on both sides. In regard to the script name, our editorial staff did not find the Viagra name offensive, but we cannot anticipate every reader's reaction. We hope to maintain a balance of (tasteful) humor and technical information.

I appreciate your time and your support of the magazine.

Best Regards,

Amber Ankerholz