what is Clonezilla : Hardisk Hard drive Clone copy tool

What is Clonezilla?

what is Clonezilla
what is Clonezilla

Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk. This increases the clone efficiency. With some high-end hardware in a 42-node cluster, a multicast restoring at rate 8 GB/min was reported.

Features:

  • Many File systems are supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs and nilfs2 of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, (5) minix of Minix, and (6) VMFS3 and VMFS5 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Minix, VMWare ESX and Chrome OS/Chromium OS, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored by Partclone. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Boot loader, including grub (version 1 and version 2) and syslinux, could be reinstalled.
  • Both MBR and GPT partition formats of hard drive are supported. Clonezilla live also can be booted on a BIOS or uEFI machine.
  • Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
  • One image restoring to multiple local devices is supported.
  • Image could be encrypted. This is done with ecryptfs, a POSIX-compliant enterprise cryptographic stacked filesystem.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massive clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • The image file can be on local disk, ssh server, samba server, NFS server or WebDAV server.
  • AES-256 encryption could be used to secures data access, storage and transfer.
  • Based on Partclone (default), Partimage (optional), ntfsclone (optional), or dd to image or clone a partition. However, Clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

Minimum System Requirements for Clonezilla live:

  • X86 or x86-64 processor
  • 196 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • Boot device, e.g. CD/DVD Drive, USB port, PXE, or hard drive

Limitations:

  • The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one.
  • Differential/incremental backup is not implemented yet.
  • Online imaging/cloning is not implemented yet. The partition to be imaged or cloned has to be unmounted.
  • Due to the image format limitation, the image can not be explored or mounted. You can _NOT_ recovery single file from the image. However, you still have workaround to make it, read this.
  • Recovery Clonezilla live with multiple CDs or DVDs is not implemented yet. Now all the files have to be in one CD or DVD if you choose to create the recovery iso file.

License:

  • Clonezilla itself is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) Version 2. However, to run Clonezilla, a lot of free and open source software, e.g. the Linux kernel and a minimal GNU/Linux OS, are required.

Which Clonezilla Shall I Use ?

  • Clonezilla Live: Clonezilla live allows you to use CD/DVD or USB flash drive to boot and run clonezilla (Unicast only)
  • Clonezilla SE: Clonezilla SE is included in DRBL, therefore a DRBL server must first be set up in order to use Clonezilla to do massively cloning (unicast, broadcast and multicast are supported)

1. About Clonezilla Live

Clonezilla Live is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86/amd64 (x86-64) based computers. Clonezilla SE (Server Edition) has been developed from 2004, and it is used to deploy many computers simultaneously. It is an extremely useful tool, however, it does have several limitations. In order to use it, you must first prepare a DRBL server AND the machine to be deployed must boot from a network (e.g. PXE/iPXE).

To address these limitations, we have combined Debian Live with Clonezilla as “Clonezilla Live,” a software that can be used to easily image and clone individual machines. The primary benefit of Clonezilla Live is that it eliminates the need to set up a DRBL server ahead of time and the need for the computer being deployed to boot from a network. Clonezilla Live can be used to image or clone individual computers using a CD/DVD or USB flash drive. Though the image size is limited by the boot media’s storage capacity, this problem can be eliminated by using a network filesystem such as sshfs or samba.

2. How to install Clonezilla Live ?

To install Clonezilla live, the basic steps are to download pre-build Clonezilla Live then put it in a boot media (CD, USB flash drive or USB hard drive). Two types of files are available, iso and zip. The former one is for CD, the latter is for USB flash drive. Besides, you can put Clonezilla live on hard drive or PXE server, too.

  • For CD/DVD:
    Download an ISO file for CD/DVD

      • . Then you can burn the iso file to a CD/DVD with any burnning program, such

    K3b

      •  on GNU/Linux or

    InfraRecorder

      •  on MS Windows, and remeber to

    choose “Burn Image” to burn the ISO file on the CD

      • . The CD can then be used to boot the machine you want to image or clone. The step-by-step doc about using InfraRecorder to create Clonezilla live CD could be found

    here

      .
  • For USB flash drive or USB hard drive:
      • To put Clonezilla live on a USB flash drive or USB hard drive, check

    this doc

      .
  • For hard drive:
      • To put Clonezilla live on a harddrive with OS installed already, check

    this doc

      .
  • For PXE server:
      • To put Clonezilla live on a PXE server and boot your client via PXE, check

    this doc

      .

If you are interested in creating the Clonezilla live iso or zip file from scratch, check this doc. //New for creating Clonezilla live 2.x!//.

3. How to use Clonezilla live ?

Please refer to this doc for more details.

4. Accounts

In Clonezilla live, two accounts are available: (1) account “user” with sudo privilege, password is “live”, (2) administration account “root”, no password. Therefore you can not login as root, the only way to get root privilege is to login as user, and run “sudo -i” or “sudo su -” to become root.
For better security, it is recommended to change the passwords of user and root by command “passwd” before you allow remote access. When Clonezilla live boots, the ssh service is NOT automatically started, and the setting in /etc/hosts.deny does NOT block any connection. If you want to remotely ssh login into your Clonezilla live, you have to start ssh service by “service ssh start”.

5. Advanced modes

Some advanced modes are available: