How to Clone a Hard Drive on Linux


Cloning a hard drive on Linux can be useful when you want to make an exact copy of your hard drive, whether to back up your data or to transfer it to another system. In this guide, we will discuss the steps required to clone a hard drive on Linux.

Using dd

dd is a command-line utility program on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that is used for copying and converting data between files, disks, and block devices. The name dd stands for “data duplicator” or “disk duplicator.”

dd is often used to create bootable USB drives, make backups of hard drives or partitions, copy files between disks or partitions, and create disk images. It can also be used for low-level disk operations, such as wiping a disk, formatting a disk, or writing zeroes to a disk.

Step 1: Connect the Hard Drives

The first step is to connect the source and target hard drives to your Linux system. You can connect them using an external hard drive enclosure or a SATA/IDE to USB adapter.

Step 2: Identify Hard Drives

To identify the hard drives, run:

sudo fdisk -l

This command will list all the hard drives connected to your system.

Step 3: Create Disk Image

Next, create a disk image of the source hard drive by running:

sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=64K conv=noerror,sync

In this command, /dev/sda is the source hard drive and /dev/sdb is the target hard drive. The bs=64K option sets the block size, and the conv=noerror,sync option ensures that the copying process is error-free.

Step 4: Monitor Cloning Process

The cloning process can take some time, depending on the size of the hard drive. You can monitor the progress of the cloning process by running:

sudo pkill -USR1 -n -x dd

Step 5: Verify Cloned Hard Drive

Once the cloning process is complete, you can verify the cloned hard drive by running:

sudo fdisk -l

This command will list all the hard drives connected to your system, including the cloned hard drive.

Step 6: Safely Remove Hard Drives

Finally, safely remove the hard drives from your Linux system by unmounting them and disconnecting them from the system.


Cloning a hard drive on Linux can be a useful process that requires you to connect the source and target hard drives, identify the hard drives, create a disk image, monitor the cloning process, verify the cloned hard drive, and safely remove the hard drives. By following these steps, you can make an exact copy of your hard drive on Linux.

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