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I'm a dev new to sysadmin, armed with root access to a linux box. I want to practice a bit on the configuration in a local virtual machine.

What setup would I need to do this?

My current idea is:

  1. Export server file system as an image
  2. Transfer image to local system
  3. Load image on a vm
  4. Play.
  5. Deploy

I suspect I'm missing something, but I wanted to see if the community had any guidance so I don't brick the systems!

Thanks, as always.

Update (Things I'm working on):

  • sshfs user@host:/remote/path /local/path
  • next: dd (but it's giving me problems b/c /local/path is a directory and not a device.
  • similar to this ServerFault post, but mine is remote, and I need to get it to a virtualbox-readable format.
  • is this even possible? I shouldn't be able to unmount the partition to back it up. So there should be files which I simply cannot back up. This makes my task futile, no?
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May or may not work, but you could try installing the basic OS on your local vm, then load a LiveCD and use rsync on the remote machine to sync the entire remote root to the root on the local machine.

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