> I would like to know if copying all the partitions of an
>installed Linux distribution to another set of partitions on the same
>drive would be workable. Assuming that you could boot into it, would it
>work properly, exactly as if it was at the other location, if I changed
>all the partition references in the fstab file? Or would all the links
>within the directories have to be changed to reflect the partition
>changes? Are the links, soft or hard in Linux relative or absolute?
There should be no problem in doing what you describe. I don't know
exactly what you mean by "relative or absolute" links here... symbolic
links point directly to filenames; you can have a symbolic link at
/bin/vi that points to /usr/bin/vim, and these links go through the
filesystem and do not depend on absolute sector addresses or anything
like that. It is possible to have a symbolic link point to, say,
../blah, and that could be considered a relative link. So long as you
keep the directory structure consistent (ie, not moving /usr/local into
/usr/opt) then there should be no problems.
Hard links are entries in a directory which basically say, "file1 has
inode #3456" and "file2 also has inode #3456". Hard links cannot cross
You'll most likely want to boot the changed system with a boot disk and
the command line "linux root=/dev/hdXX", then once the system's up,
re-run LILO after editing /etc/lilo.conf to reflect the changes.
Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see
Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin / Those who do not understand Unix are
http://www.brainbench.com / condemned to reinvent it, poorly.
-----------------------------/ --Henry Spencer