Cloning a system means that an exact copy of the entire system is made and distributed to other micro SD-cards. This will save the hassle of doing everything over. Please note that you should only clone systems that are functional, if you skipped any of the above steps; or made mistakes, those lacunas are automatically transferred to the new systems.
We won’t clone our Pi in the recommended fashion, instead we will use a USB-drive that’s over 4GB; if your SD-card is 16GB, you can use an 8GB or 16GB USB-drive. If you have the choice, pick the 8GB option; this will compress the image automatically, reducing the time spent on cloning the SD-card.
Please note that using a USB drive to clone the Raspbian image will erase all content on that drive and will repartition that drive.
- After rebooting, lout from the public user, and log in to the ‘pi’ account.
- Insert the USB drive in the Raspberry Pi.
- Go to the start icon
- Click ‘Accessories’, then click ‘SD Card Copier’.
- A small window pops up.
- ‘Copy From Device’ is already filled. It should state ‘Internal SD card’.
- Next to ‘Copy To Device’ choose your USB-drive; you will only have as many options as the number of connected USB-drives.
- Inspect the settings, if you are sure that everything is correct, click ‘Start’.
USB to image
- Now you have made a clone, not an image. To make an image you’ll need to eject the USBdrive from the Raspberry Pi upon completion of the task.
- Insert the USB-drive in your windows machine.
- Open Win32Disk Imager, this is the same program we used to write an image to the SD-card.
- Select the correct drive letter.
- We need to create an image; so we can’t just select it by clicking the blue icon. Instead you need to paste the path to the folder you want to use; append ‘\custom_node.img’ at the end. This will create an exact image of the USB-drive with the name ‘custom_node.img’.
- Now you need to click ‘Read’ this will read the entire USB-drive and write it to the custom_node.img-file.
Image to SD
Now you have a custom image that can be cloned to other SD-cards.
- Don’t close Win32Disk Imager.
- Eject the USB drive
- Insert the MicroSD card in your windows machine.
- In Win32Disk Imager you’ll need to select the drive letter that corresponds to this SDcard.
- This time you’ll have to clock ‘Write’.
- You will be prompted with a warning, simply click ‘Yes’. This will start the writing process
- Do this for every node.