I have an SD card which has the image of Raspbian jessy for raspberry pi.

I currently have only a single SD card reader on my computer, and I would like to clone this SD card to another SD card only by using this reader.

Is there possibility to achieve this


you could use dd and your harddrive. I will give an example:

For the backup (with your rasbian jessy sd card in the reader, but unmounted):

sudo dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 of=/home/bruni/backup.img

For the restore, after you have unmounted and replaced the sd card with a fresh one:

sudo dd bs=4M if=/home/bruni/backup.img of=/dev/mmcblk0

Of course you will first have to verify that mmcblk0 is your sd card (to do this compare the output of df -h before and after you insert the sd card) and replace bruni with your username.

I use the above for backing up my raspberry pi kodi installation.

PS: Neither copy nor rsync will lead to a bootable sd card, which is what you want.

  • I'd there a reason (besides speed) you opted to use a block size of 4mib?
    – mikeymop
    Apr 19 '16 at 18:15
  • I have tried bs=1M and bs=4M and did not see any differences other than speed. Here is a question on how to calculate optimal block size stackoverflow.com/questions/6161823/…, but as I said never had any problems with 4M and therefore did not see a reason to optimize this further.
    – Bruni
    Apr 20 '16 at 6:32
  • will this work even if the replaced sd has a different size (for example, initial SD card 8GB, and I want to clone its content to a 16GB card because I am running out of space)?
    – Zorglub29
    Mar 13 '18 at 10:31
  • @Zorglub29 It will work, but not as you intend. You will not gain the additional space. You will have wasted the additional 8GB.
    – Bruni
    Mar 13 '18 at 12:33
  • Any way to get this to work with a larger SD card? Maybe I should open a new question?
    – Zorglub29
    Mar 13 '18 at 15:34

This can be done on the Pi. Using Piclone the Raspberry Pi can back itself up to an SD.

Menu > Accessories > SD Card Copier

Select the SD the OS is running from in the top box and the backup card in the lower.

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