Linux – Mount partition from a raw disk image : dd and mount

In this post, I will share how you can mount a raw disk image such as an image generated with dd. Raw disk image or RAW Image Format is a bit-for-bit copy of disk data, without any metadata information on files. In Linux, dd is a popular tool for data transfer by duplicating entire disk for instance. Let us create a disk image of a mount with an EXT3 file system –

[root@kauai src]# dd if=/dev/sdb of=disk.img 

7233761+0 records in
7233760+0 records out
3703685120 bytes (3.7 GB) copied, 236.166 s, 15.7 MB/s

[root@kauai src]# ls -alh disk.img 
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 3.5G Jan 15 18:44 disk.img

We have copied a mount with multiple files into a single disk.img file which we can copy to another system. Now let us examine the raw disk layout, that we can use to mount as a file system –

[root@kauai src]# fdisk -lu disk.img 
You must set cylinders.
You can do this from the extra functions menu.

Disk disk.img: 0 MB, 0 bytes
124 heads, 62 sectors/track, 0 cylinders, total 0 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xdebbbd93

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
disk.img          630416      945623      157604   83  Linux

As we can see the raw disk has 512 byte size sectors and it starts at offset 630416, given this information we can use mount command to mount the disk image –

[root@kauai src]# mount -o loop,offset=$((630416*512)) disk.img /mnt/hdisk/
[root@kauai src]# ls -al /mnt/hdisk/
total 37
drwxr-xr-x. 3 root root  1024 Jan 15 18:39 .
drwxr-xr-x. 4 root root  4096 Nov 17 20:04 ..
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file21
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file22
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file23
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file24
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file25
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file26
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file27
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file28
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file29
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root    15 Jan 15 18:39 file30
drwx------. 2 root root 12288 Jan 15 18:37 lost+found

[root@kauai src]# cat /mnt/hdisk/file26 
File number 26

Here we were able to mount the disk image and be able to read the content of one of the text files.

References –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dd_(Unix)

https://linux.die.net/man/8/mount

How to copy to a clipboard in Linux

Problem statement – You have a file with hundreds or thousands of lines and you want to copy the contents of this file and paste it to an external application, for instance to a browser.

Solution – The first attempt is to try to cat the file and scroll down with your mouse to select each line. This is time consuming or in some cases might not work if there are too many lines as some of the lines will ‘scroll out of the terminal’. One way of getting around this is to use “xclip” – a command line interface to X selections (clipboard).

In my case I wanted to copy the contents of ‘/tmp/ipaddresses.txt’ file to a browser for blogging. The file had 10000 lines. I used the following commands, first to install xclip and then to copy the file contents to a clipboard –

apt-get -y install xclip
xclip -sel cli < /tmp/ipaddresses.txt

The xclip command basically does a selection (-sel) from the file into the clipboard(-cli), where you can copy paste to any other external application.

References
https://linux.die.net/man/1/xclip

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5130968/how-can-i-copy-the-output-of-a-command-directly-into-my-clipboard

A project to track all active financial blogs.

No question there are too many personal finance, early retirement, deb etc. related blogs out there. It is very difficult to keep track of all these blogs. Luckily there is a project by Rockstar Finance not only keeps track of these blogs but also updates the list on a daily basis. Here is the link to the personal finance blog directory.

Looking at the list the categories of these blogs is very diverse, as of today it includes these –

    Budgeting
    Debt
    Early Retirement
    Family
    Frugality
    General Finance
    Investing
    Lifestyle
    Making Money
    Military
    Millennial
    Minimalism
    Real Estate
    Traditional Retirement

The directory also allows you to easily filter the list by –

    Category
    Age
    Sex
    Race
    City/State/Country
    profession

I found this directory quite useful in filtering out the relevant blogs that I am interested in based on the category. If you manage a personal finance blog, you can also submit your blog to the directory admins so that they can post it there.