losetup

posted 5 years ago by Ben Cordero

Hi future me, again.

Did you remember how to mount a file as a block device? Even put a filesystem and OS on it too.

# losetup -f # Will print out the next available loop device  
# losetup /dev/loop0 /path/to/file.img # Will mount the whole disk image [1]  
# kpartx -a /dev/loop0 # Will find the partitions [2]  
# mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /path/to/mountpoint # Will mount the first partition [3]

How useful is that?

After the initial losetup to bind the file to a loop block device, you can run tools like

dd if=/dev/sda of=/path/to/network/backup.img

or

gdisk /dev/loop0

if you want to make usb live images.

I'm sure you'll think of something. Don't forget about cleanup,

# kpartx -d /dev/loop0 # Removes any partition mappings  
# losetup -d /dev/loop0 # decouples the loop device and closes the file

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