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Old 05-10-2020, 10:27 AM   #1
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what are the practical results of copying a mounted filesystem image?

When I image and copy an entire partition, I sometimes forget to unmount the partition first, and the system effectively warns me, with:
Running e2image on a R/W mounted filesystem can result in an
inconsistent image which will not be useful for debugging purposes.
Use -f option if you really want to do that.
I just wondered what the result would look like if I did add -f to copy the image without unmounting it. I have assumed the image on the target would be corrupted; I note that "will not be useful for debugging purposes" implies that that might be the only problem. If so, I don't care--I wasn't going to debug anything.
Old 05-10-2020, 10:51 AM   #2
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When a partition is being unmounted all cached data get flushed to it. Besides, unmounting a partition guarantees that no process continues to write data onto it.

Last edited by shruggy; 05-10-2020 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:19 AM   #3
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additionally the copy of a living partition may be corrupted. That means it is useless, contains invalid data (=inconsistent). you might need to run fsck before usage and also you might expect data loss on that image. But occasionally it may work without any trouble.
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