Situation: simple linux system, with external removable usb media (rdx), single primary partition with ext4 filesystem on them for backups.

Using some external usb disk media (rdx disks) for rsnapshot backup storage. Rsnapshot using lot of those (hard?)links and/or inodes(?) as far as I understand would cause me trouble moving the actual files from /mnt/rdx-old/ to /mnt/rdx-new/

As I dont want to lose the history of my rsnapshots on my rdx disks (several) e.g. one for every day, and rsnapshot working on an hourly, daily and weekly basis and rotation.

My rdx-es are currently 1.5teraoctets in capacity, and I am trying to move over to 2.0teraoctets rdx media.

I am currently trying to move e.g. via midnight commander, and it has some options inside its move dialog box about symlinks and strict links behavior.

Midnight commander browsed through my /mnt/rdxold/backup/ (this single folder and subfolders, hold the rsnapshot contents) and counted like 7800+ gigabytes (on the 1.5terabyte rdx disk), which is obviously false information and interpreted symlink stuff of the various levels of the rsnapshot subfolders.

What tools would I most easily be able to move over the physical files, inodes and whatnot of these intricate filesystem (ext4) details, that I can simply enjoy my larger rdx media in the future?

I even wondered if I should just somehow move the contents via some tools like clonezilla or outside of my running linux box or something, that prevents the interpretation of the symlinks and all that? Inflating the single primary partition I have on all the current rdx media with the simple ext4 filesystem on them?

1 Answer 1


If it is not a raid setup you could boot from a live USB/CD and use dd to copy the whole drive over to the new one and then expand the partition to encompass the whole disk using gparted or similar tool. This would leave everything exactly the same as it was on the previous disk.

  • Indeed I was also thinking about using gparted. The external two usb rdx drives and their media are accessible from booted gparted live usb stick. The content/partition now copies over usb3 connection from one drive and its old media to the second drive with its new larger media. Gparted is using e2image command line tool as I can see it in the extended details. e2image -ra -p /olddisk /newdisk Thanks for your reply.
    – amacnewbie
    Jan 5, 2019 at 20:24

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