File Compression methods

Nicholas Leippe nick at
Thu Oct 10 08:04:46 MDT 2013

Why are you cloning drives over GigE? And why 600GB--that's a lot. I should
think most distros could install in under 20GB easily.

Anyways, there are two distinct issues here:

- archive format
- compression method

Both can be solved independently.

Some archive formats are:
- zip
- tar
- cpio
- rar
- shar

Some compression formats are:
- compress
- zip
- rar
- bzip2
- gzip

You might also consider simply doing rsync.

Or get fancier: boot the first time with an md raid1, with the two mirrors
being the local drive and a drbd of the remote drive set as mostly-write,
with the bitmap option enabled. It will sync and track it's progress in the
case it doesn't finish the first time the machine is turned on. Once it has
finished, you could remove the drbd remote half out of it. This however
would copy every block across the network.

Or, just use a dedicated remote fs such as NFS.

Or, clone the drives on a local machine using faster, native drive
interfaces (SATA or a USB3/firewire enclosure) before deploying them--could
be up to 3 times faster depending on your drive capabilities.

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