Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am wanting to move my Ubuntu Server installation from the USB flash drive to a more permanent location on a HDD on my NAS. I initially installed Ubuntu Server on the USB drive as a test but it has grown into a fully configured server.

The catch is that the server has no keyboard, monitor or dvd drive and is only accessible via ssh - so I think that makes something like Clonezilla unusable?

Apart from the USB drive there is also an internal HDD that contains a ZFS pool with a few bits on it and 2 more larger HDD on the way. I would like to move the USB drive setup to the current internal HDD and make it bootable, all using SSH.

Any suggestions?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted
  1. With the USB drive plugged in you can copy all of the files on the drive to, say, \root\, and be almost all set. You may be able to chroot into /root and check things out.

  2. But now the tricky part, you need to rename /root to / and reboot simultaneously. You can't do the rename before the reboot because at that point your target system will no longer be intact--its file system won't match its kernel and environment and you can't do anything after the reboot is issued.

  3. Further, it would be almost crazy to rename and reboot simultaneously as the system is unusable if the new software won't run that particular hardware--you will be dead in the water.

This is why serial consoles are used. I suggest that you spend a few bucks for a serial card and add it to the server. That way you can do the final work from there and back things out if you try things that don't work.

Another idea is to run your new system as a virtual machine on the old one.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.