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The easiest way to do this is to create your backing file as a sparse file; that is, make it 1GB with truncate -s 1G disk.img instead of dd if=/dev/zero bs=1048576 count=1024 of=disk.img (or whatever). Nicely, truncate is also far faster. If you do an ls -l on the file, it'll show as 1GB—but that's only its apparent size. du disk.img will give the actual ...


Firstly, writing a sparse image to a disk will not result in anything but the whole of the size of that image file - holes and all - covering the disk. This is because handling of sparse files is a quality of the filesystem - and a raw device (such as the one to which you write the image) has no such thing yet. A sparse file can be stored safely and securely ...

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