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I installed Ubuntu 12.04 from a USB drive to a USB drive (16 GB) and configured it to my needs. Now I'd like to have a 1:1 backup of the system on the USB drive and was wondering on how to accomplish that.

I found dd seems to the trick (How to replace my disk without having to rebuild my Ubuntu install?) but I was wondering if I could run into any problems following this route.

Eg: Do I have to preformat the target USB drive? Do I have to do something special regarding the boot loader? Can I run dd from within the running system (with mounted source partitions and running processes)? I looked into the /etc/fstab and it included these lines:

proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
# / was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=77d02669-c088-4e3f-9a9c-4bb1bd6b1d05 /               ext4    noatime,errors=remount-ro 0       1
# swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation
UUID=ca609ad6-5690-4dc6-af78-edfd3a6d0b9b none            swap    sw              0       0

I guess those need to be changed when I want to boot from the backup drive?

Any insight is welcome. Thanks.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just for the curious ones: dd copys the UUID of the USB drive as well so the result of the command found under the link in the questions really creates an exact copy which boots fine without any modification.

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