How to Clone a Hard Drive in Ubuntu

By Joshua Laud

Portable external hard drives don't require a separate power supply.
i Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

When you upgrade a hard drive you might want to keep all your original data and copy it across to the new drive. Alternatively, you might want to backup your hard drive to another drive in case of emergency. With Windows operating systems, cloning a hard drive requires third-party software and is not a standard procedure. If you want to clone a hard drive on Ubuntu then, because it is a Linux operating system, you can us the "dd" command which will backup and clone your hard drive easily.

Step 1

Click "Applications" on your menu bar, then click "Accessories," and then "Terminal" to open Ubuntu's Linux Terminal emulator.

Step 2

Type "su" and press "Enter" to enter the root of the drive, if you aren't already logged in as so.

Step 3

Type "dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb" without quotation marks. Replace "dev/sda" with the path to the drive you want to clone. Replace "dev/sdb" with the path of the drive you want to copy the cloned drive to.

Step 4

Press "Enter," to begin cloning the drive.