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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for e2image (redhat section 8)

E2IMAGE(8)			     System Manager's Manual			       E2IMAGE(8)

       e2image - Save critical ext2 filesystem data to a file

       e2image [ -r ] device image-file

       The  e2image  program will save critical filesystem data on the ext2 filesystem located on
       device to a file specified by image-file.  The image file may be examined by dumpe2fs  and
       debugfs,  by  using  the  -i  option  to those programs.  This can be used by an expert in
       assisting the recovery of catastrophically corrupted filesystems.  In the  future,  e2fsck
       will be enhanced to be able to use the image file to help recover a badly damaged filesys-

       If image-file is -, then the output of e2image will be sent to standard output.

       The -r option will create a raw image file instead of a normal image file.   A  raw  image
       file  differs  from  a  normal  image file in two ways.	First, the filesystem metadata is
       placed in the proper position so that e2fsck, dumpe2fs, debugfs, etc. can be run  directly
       on  the	raw  image file.  In order to minimize the amount of disk space consumed by a raw
       image file, the file is created as  a  sparse  file.   (Beware  of  copying  or	compress-
       ing/decompressing  this	file  with  utilities  that don't understand how to create sparse
       files; the file will become as large as the filesystem itself!)	Secondly, the  raw  image
       file  also includes indirect blocks and data blocks, which the current image file does not
       have, although this may change in the future.

       It is a very good idea to periodically (at boot time and every week or so) to create image
       files  for  all	of filesystems on a system, as well as saving the partition layout (which
       can be generated using the using fdisk -l command).  Ideally  the  image  file  should  be
       stored on some filesystem other that the filesystem whose data it contains, to ensure that
       its data is accessible in the case where the filesystem has been badly damaged.

       To save disk space, e2image creates the image file as a sparse file.  Hence, if the  image
       file  needs  to	be  copied  to	another location, it should either be compressed first or
       copied using the --sparse=always option to GNU version of cp.

       The size of an ext2 image file depends primarily on the size of the  filesystems  and  how
       many  inodes are in use.  For a typical 10 gigabyte filesystem, with 200,000 inodes in use
       out of 1.2 million inodes, the image file be approximately  35  megabytes;  a  4  gigabyte
       filesystem  with  15,000  inodes  in use out of 550,000 inodes will result in a 3 megabyte
       image file.  Image files tend to be  quite  compressible;  an  image  file  taking  up  32
       megabytes of space on disk will generally compress down to 3 or 4 megabytes.

       e2image was written by Theodore Ts'o (tytso@mit.edu).

       e2image	 is   part   of   the	e2fsprogs   package   and  is  available  from	anonymous

       dumpe2fs(8), debugfs(8)

E2fsprogs version 1.32			  November 2002 			       E2IMAGE(8)

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