How to Copy a Disk to a Different Account

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A guide to copy a disk to a different Linode account

You can copy a disk of a Linode from one Linode account to another. This is a great way to prepare a disk for another Linode customer and transfer it from one individual account to another individual account. Or if you have multiple Linode accounts, this guide provides instructions to consolidate all the disks in one account.

If you are copying a disk of a Linode that hosts applications, then ensure that you complete the backup and migrate steps for the respective applications.

Preparing the Receiving Linode

You need to prepare the receiving Linode before initiating the transfer. First, create a Linode with a new disks to hold the files from the other Linode.

Creating a New Receiving Linode

  1. Log in to the Cloud Manager with the username and password you created when signing up.

  2. Click Create at the top of the page and select Linode.

  3. Click X to not choose any Image in the Choose a Distribution section of the Distributions tab.

    Creating a receiving Linode

  4. Choose the region where you would like the Linode to reside. If you’re not sure which to select, see our How to Choose a Data Center guide. You can also generate MTR reports for a deeper look at the route path between you and a data center in each specific region.

  5. Select a Linode plan.

  6. Give the Linode a label. This is a name to help you easily identify it within the Cloud Manager’s Dashboard. If desired, assign a tag to the Linode in the Add Tags field.

  7. Create a root password for your Linode in the Root Password field. This password must be provided when you log in to the Linode through SSH. The password must meet the complexity strength validation requirements for a strong password. Your root password can be used to perform any action on your server, so make it long, complex, and unique.

  8. Click Create. The system directs you to the Linodes page that reports the status of the Linode as it boots up.

Creating New Disks

To hold the files transferred from the other Linode, create two new disks labeled copy and swap:

  1. Select the Linode that is receiving the disk. The Linode’s dashboard appears.

  2. Go to the Disks/Configs tab and click Add a Disk in the Disks section. The Add Disk window appears.

    Adding a disk

  3. Type a descriptive name such as copy for the disk in the Label field.

  4. Select ext4 in the Filesystem dropdown field.

  5. Set the size of the disk in the Size field. The size of the disk must be large enough to hold the contents of the disk that you want to copy.

  6. Click Add to create the disk.

  7. Repeat the steps to create a disk labeled swap and select swap in the Filesystem dropdown field. Ensure that the size of the swap disk is the same as that of the swap disk of the disk that you want to copy. The system creates disks to hold the files from the disk of other account.

Booting into Rescue Mode

Start the receiving Linode in rescue mode:

  1. Select the Linode that is receiving the disk. The Linode’s dashboard appears.
  2. Click the Rescue tab.
  3. Set the /dev/sda field to copy and /dev/sdb to swap.
  4. Click Reboot into Rescue Mode.

Access the Linode in Rescue Mode

After the Linode has booted, connect to the Linode through LISH.

  1. Select the Linode that is receiving the disk. The Linode’s dashboard appears.

  2. Click Launch Console . A new window appears that displays the Lish console, a Welcome to Finnix! message, and a root prompt.

  3. Set the root password for the Finnix rescue environment by entering the following command:

    This root password is separate from the root password of the disk that you normally boot from. Setting the root password for Finnix does not affect the root account of the distribution.
  4. Type the new password for the root user.

  5. Start the SSH server:

    service ssh start

You can now connect to the server as root with the SSH client on the local computer. The Linode is now ready to receive the files from the other Linode account.

Copying the Disk

To start copying the files on the disk from one account to another, initiate the file transfer:

  1. Connect to the source Linode through an SSH client.

  2. Type the following command to start copying the disk, replace with the IP address of the receiving Linode:

    dd if=/dev/sda | ssh -C "dd of=/dev/sda"
  3. The following output appears. Enter yes to continue connecting:

    The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
    RSA key fingerprint is 20:f4:de:4d:5c:6e:a9:c7:e6:1f:8a:ad:60:62:96:3f.
    Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?
  4. The system prompts you for the root password. Enter the password you created in the last section when you started the SSH server:

    [email protected]'s password:
  5. The file transfer starts, as shown below:

    2048000+0 records in
    2048000+0 records out
    1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 391.504 seconds, 2.7 MB/s
    2048000+0 records in
    2048000+0 records out
    1048576000 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 387.843 seconds, 2.7 MB/s

Wait for the transfer to complete. Note that this process can take a while, depending on the size of your disk.

Verifying the Disk

After the file transfer has completed, you should verify the disk by mounting it on the receiving Linode. Ensure that the Network Helper is on for the receiving Linode or the Static IP is configured to enable networking with the new IP addresses.

  1. Connect to the receiving Linode through SSH as root.

  2. To check that the disks are transferred successfully make a new directory for the disk by typing the following command:

    mkdir linode
  3. Mount the disk by typing the following command:

    mount /dev/sda linode
  4. View the directories in the disk by typing the following command:

    ls linode/

    The output is similar to:

    bin   dev  home  lost+found  mnt  proc  sbin     srv  tmp  var
    boot  etc  lib   media       opt  root  selinux  sys  usr
If the system displays any disk errors, then perform the Copying the Disk steps again.

Now the Linode is ready to boot from the disk.

Booting from the Disk

Boot the receiving Linode from the disk. First, create a configuration profile on the receiving Linode, and then boot the receiving Linode with the disk that you just transferred.

Creating the Configuration Profile

To boot the receiving Linode from the transferred disk, create a new configuration profile:

  1. Click the Linodes tab.
  2. Select the Linode that received the disk. The Linode’s dashboard appears.
  3. Select Disks/Configs tab and in the Configuration section click Add a Configuration. The Add a Linode Configuration window appears.
  4. Enter a name for the configuration profile in the Label field, such as Received disk.
  5. In the Block Device Assignment section, set /dev/sda to copy and /dev/sdb to swap disk.
    Assigning the Block Device
  6. Click Submit.

You have successfully created the configuration profile.

Booting the Receiving Linode

Now to start the receiving Linode from the transferred disk, select the configuration profile that you created:

  1. From the Linode’s dashboard, select the Received disk configuration profile that you created.

  2. Click the more options ellipsis and select Boot This Config to restart the Linode from the transferred disk.

    Booting the Receiving Linode
    The Linode boots using the disk you transferred.

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