Sanity check regarding backing up my BBB image and, later, recovering the image

I could really use a sanity check here. I have finally gotten my BBB image more or less stable and would like to back it up. Similarly, I would like to be able to, for example, pass this image on to a colleague, such that he could simply install it from an sd card. So, I have two questions:

  1. is this the proper method to backup the bbb to a file on my mac (via ssh)?

dd if=/dev/mmcblk0 | gzip | ssh user@macip dd of=/Users/cta/Desktop/BBB_backup.img.gz

As far as I can tell it went smoothly. However, question two is what is making me question whether or not I did this correctly…

  1. how does one flash a backup of one BBB (from uSD) to another one (not another uSD, another BBB)? more specifically: when my colleague attempted to flash this to his board it simply did not work (the four LEDs never lit up, etc.), though he used the same protocol required to flash the official angstrom “flasher.” Are we just mistaken about how to install another person’s image on one’s BBB via uSD, and is the reason the “hold the user button down and then apply power blah blah” does not work for the backup I made is that my image is not a “flasher,” but simply a copy of my BBB? If the latter is the case, what is the proper way to go about doing this?

Any help would be appreciated,

While I will not personally argue the point. Some say that dd is not reliable. As explained to me by a friend you can do this:

cd /path/to/source/
tar zcvf - . | ssh root@ “cat >/bkup/tarfile.tar.gz”

Personally I have no tried this, but it seems reasonable. Instead, I netboot my BBB, and do all backups on the NFS server. Doing something like this:

cd ~/rootfs/
sudo tar -zcvf ~/rootfs.tar.gz

then to reinstate the backup I do this:
sudo tar xzvf rootfs.tar.gz -C ~/rootfs

Some background on this is that the BBB netboots from a TFTP / NFS server. /boot/ is located inside of ~/rootfs/ . This is of course located within a regular users home directory. Is this perfect ? I really am not sure, but it does work, and seems to work very well ( I have tested this a few times ). For my own purposes it works very well, but for your own purposes you may need to adjust accordingly.

err I’m missing a space and a period “.” after sudo tar -zcvf ~/rootfs.tar.gz but you get the general idea

hm. interesting. thanks for your thoughts. ill give this a spin and report back.