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Essential System Tools: Clonezilla – partition and disk cloning softwa

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Essential System Tools: Clonezilla – partition and disk cloning software

 

This is the latest in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For this article, we’ll look at Clonezilla, a free and open source ncurses partition and disk imaging/cloning program. The software offers system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the summary page of this article.

 

The software is similar in functionality to True Image and Norton Ghost, two proprietary solutions.

 

While Linux is well blessed with backup software to save and restore your data, there aren’t many applications that offer disk imaging.

 

There are two editions of Clonezilla, Clonezilla Live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla Live is a small bootable Linux distribution for x86/amd64 (x86-64) based computers. It’s designed for single machine backup and restore, whereas Clonezilla SE offers multicast support similar to Norton Ghost Corporate Edition. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk.

Installation

 

To install Clonezilla Live, the basic steps are to download pre-build Clonezilla Live, and then put it in a boot media (CD, USB flash drive or USB hard drive). Two types of files are available, iso and zip.

 

Clonezilla.png?resize=750%2C432&ssl=1

Clonezilla offers the ability to clone/restore a disk or partitions using an image, or disk to disk or partition to partition clone/restore. We’ll work through the steps for copying a partition to an image file stored on an external drive.

The steps you take to clone a disk are:

  • We need to tell Clonezilla where to save the image. There’s a wide selection available including a local device, SSH server, SAMBA server, NFS server, and WebDAV.
  • We need to assign where the Clonezilla images will be saved. That device is mounted as /home/partimage. You select the partition and the directory to save the image.
  • We then need to tell Clonezilla to mount a device as /home/partimage so that we can read or save the image in /home/partimage.
  • Choose a directory for the Clonezilla image repository.
  • There are two modes to choose from: Beginner and Expert, the latter lets you choose your own options such as running in text only mode, or cloning everything except the boot loader. We’ll choose the beginner mode.
  • Choose to save the local disk as an image, or save local partitions as an image.
  • Choose a name for the saved image.
  • Then choose the local disk as the source.
  • You have the option to check and repair the file system before saving it. This is only supported for some file systems.
  • You also have the option to encrypt the image. If you encrypt the image, eCryptfs is used. This uses AES-256 encryption with industry-standard cryptographic ciphers, key generation, and passphrase protection mechanisms.
  • You then choose either to reboot or shutdown the computer when everything is finished.

The target drive must have a larger capacity than the local disk, or the cloning process will fail.

 

To restore your local disk from the backup you just made, you follow the same steps, except you’ll need to choose the local drive as your target disk instead of the cloned drive.....

 

https://www.linuxlin...oning-software/

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Yes Clonezilla is very useful and I use it often to save partition images of my siduction system before running any large full-upgrade. I think I've only needed to restore once due to borked upgrade but was very glad I had it then.

Last week I had made a rash decision to totally reinstall siduction over the old install. This went OK but several days later I had an online Zoom conference with global Ingress operators and realised I had wiped out Zoom and all the secret plugins and Tampermonkey scripts we use. So 10 minutes before the conference started I decided to restore the old image which has all these set up and was in the conference about 2 minutes late although I caught the start of it using Zoom on my phone. All hail my saviour Clonezilla! :thumbsup: B)

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Tnx for the article. I've only used Clonezilla once, and that was maybe five months ago. I can't tell you how many times in the past I should have used it!! To quote myself..."Whoops, I shouldn't have done that!!" >_<

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I just remembered "Parted Magic". I burned a copy to a thumb drive years ago, before they went commercial. I believe Clonezilla was included in the package. Now where did I put that thumb drive??? :)

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I just remembered "Parted Magic". I burned a copy to a thumb drive years ago, before they went commercial. I believe Clonezilla was included in the package. Now where did I put that thumb drive??? :)

 

It may pay you to download and install the latest Clonezilla to a stick as it has been updated to handle UEFI. Or a newer version of PartedMagic. :breakfast:

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PartedMagic is excellent for disk management and OK value at $11 for a single download. However they did 6 releases last year so that would be expensive to keep up. A yearly subscription at $49 is better but overkill if you just want to use Clonezilla which is included in a number of free live distros.

I still haven't worked out how to use MX live for Clonezilla as it likes to mount disks automatically and Clonezilla needs to mount the disks itself so I get mount wars happening. Sure there must be an easy way but I end up just using an older PartedMagic USB drive. Might try Antix instead next time. Or make an actual dedicated Clonezilla Live USB key - https://clonezilla.org/liveusb.php

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PartedMagic is excellent for disk management and OK value at $11 for a single download. However they did 6 releases last year so that would be expensive to keep up. A yearly subscription at $49 is better but overkill if you just want to use Clonezilla which is included in a number of free live distros.

I still haven't worked out how to use MX live for Clonezilla as it likes to mount disks automatically and Clonezilla needs to mount the disks itself so I get mount wars happening. Sure there must be an easy way but I end up just using an older PartedMagic USB drive. Might try Antix instead next time. Or make an actual dedicated Clonezilla Live USB key - https://clonezilla.org/liveusb.php

 

Huh??? You run Clonezilla as a livecd/usb. I have never tried to run it any other way.

 

It's only available as an ISO or zip of an ISO: https://clonezilla.org/downloads.php

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I just remembered "Parted Magic". I burned a copy to a thumb drive years ago, before they went commercial. I believe Clonezilla was included in the package. Now where did I put that thumb drive??? :)

 

It may pay you to download and install the latest Clonezilla to a stick as it has been updated to handle UEFI. Or a newer version of PartedMagic. :breakfast:

Thanks for the info. I burned a copy of Clonezilla to a cd yesterday and last night found my Parted Magic thumbdrive. It's like Christmas all over!

UPDATE: Turns out I got rid of PM and installed PCLinuxOS on the thumbdrive! I'm not sure when I did that!! >_<....found out when I booted the thumb this morning :'(. Oh well....not the end of the world. :clap:

thumbdrive.jpg

.

...

thumbdrive.jpg

Edited by wa4chq

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Huh??? You run Clonezilla as a livecd/usb. I have never tried to run it any other way.

My old system won't boot from USB so I use Clonezilla to back up siduction from a hybrid Debian Stretch/ NeptuneOS* install on another partition. It can do it the other way around too.

On the new system, I run Clonezilla from PartedMagic live USB.

 

*In case you're wondering, NeptuneOS rebuilt Plasma 5.12 to be compatible with Stretch. I did a netinstall of Stretch and installed Plasma from NeptuneOS repos. This enabled a fairly minimal but stable Plasma 5.12 system. I did it because 5.12 is way better than the default 5.8 that is native to Stretch. I often consider using it as my main system as it has much less maintenance (upgrades) than siduction, but for some reason I can't drag myself away from siduction. :)

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Huh??? You run Clonezilla as a livecd/usb. I have never tried to run it any other way.

My old system won't boot from USB so I use Clonezilla to back up siduction from a hybrid Debian Stretch/ NeptuneOS* install on another partition. It can do it the other way around too.

On the new system, I run Clonezilla from PartedMagic live USB.

 

Gotcha :thumbup:

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