I have about 20 hard disks to clone for a new student lab with identical hardware. I’d like not to have to purchase any additional software. I do have a hard drive dock which holds one hard disk.
Below is the procedure I just used and it worked, but I’m sure there’s a better way.
Starting with a “master” workstation running Ubuntu (Machine 1)
1. Install linux on a different machine (Machine 2). Just the initial installation, no configuration needs to be done. (Hardware is identical to the 1st machine.) I suppose all I’d actually need to do is format this hard disk. But it’s a small format case and there isn’t a power connector for a second drive.
2. Remove the hard disk (Hard disk 2) and place it in the hard drive dock. Connect the hard drive dock to Machine 1 via USB.
3. Boot Machine 1; it sees Hard Disk 2 as /dev/sdb
4. (as root) dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb
5. Place Hard Disk 2 back in Machine 2 and boot. It comes up in maintenance mode.
6. fsck /dev/sda
7. Now Machine 2 boots as a clone of Machine 1.
8. Edit /etc/hostname and /etc/hosts to reflect the Machine 2’s correct name.