One method to move filesystems around, particularly if you are moving your root filesystem, is to use dump. Dump is a lower level backup program than tar, but this also makes dump quicker, because it doesn’t have all of the overhead. Another advantage is that depth of directories, symlinks, etc. aren’t a big deal. In the following example, /dev/sda3 is the root filesystem of a tricked out LFS install, but we are running a Red Hat install off of /dev/hda3.
[root@srv-1 genback]# /sbin/dump -0 -j -f /backuplfs.dump /dev/sda3 DUMP: Date of this level 0 dump: Tue Jan 7 11:53:13 2003 DUMP: Dumping /dev/sda3 (an unlisted file system) to /backuplfs.dump DUMP: Added inode 7 to exclude list (resize inode) DUMP: Label: none DUMP: Compressing output at compression level 2 (bzlib) DUMP: mapping (Pass I) [regular files] DUMP: mapping (Pass II) [directories] DUMP: estimated 1244488 tape blocks. DUMP: Volume 1 started with block 1 at: Tue Jan 7 11:53:36 2003 DUMP: dumping (Pass III) [directories] DUMP: dumping (Pass IV) [regular files] DUMP: 18.93% done at 785 kB/s, finished in 0:21 DUMP: 38.23% done at 792 kB/s, finished in 0:16 DUMP: 51.35% done at 710 kB/s, finished in 0:14 DUMP: 62.18% done at 644 kB/s, finished in 0:12 DUMP: 74.95% done at 621 kB/s, finished in 0:08 DUMP: 90.76% done at 627 kB/s, finished in 0:03 DUMP: 100.00% done at 599 kB/s, finished in 0:00 DUMP: Closing /backuplfs.dump DUMP: Volume 1 completed at: Tue Jan 7 12:30:45 2003 DUMP: Volume 1 took 0:37:09 DUMP: Volume 1 transfer rate: 234 kB/s DUMP: Volume 1 1342210kB uncompressed, 523693kB compressed, 2.563:1 DUMP: 1342210 tape blocks (1310.75MB) on 1 volume(s) DUMP: finished in 2229 seconds, throughput 602 kBytes/sec DUMP: Date of this level 0 dump: Tue Jan 7 11:53:13 2003 DUMP: Date this dump completed: Tue Jan 7 12:30:45 2003 DUMP: Average transfer rate: 234 kB/s DUMP: Wrote 1342210kB uncompressed, 523693kB compressed, 2.563:1 DUMP: DUMP IS DONE [root@srv-1 genback]#