Monday, September 16, 2013

Clonezilla, the hard drive cloning tool

Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging, or "cloning" program akin to Norton Ghost.

I started digging into using something like Clonezilla because I do a lot of Ubuntu installations, and wanted to speed things up.

Ubuntu installs fast enough, but including updates, program installs, and my favorite tweaks, it tends to be a lengthy process.

Clonezilla is an excellent way to back up your operating system in case of failure. It was impressively fast for me.

"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 harddisk. This increases the clone efficiency. At the NCHC's Classroom C, Clonezilla SE was used to clone 41 computers simultaneously. It took only about 10 minutes to clone a 5.6 GBytes system image to all 41 computers via multicasting!"'s about section

I used the Live CD. If you run a business that does mass cloning you will need Clonezilla SE. It's included in DRBL, so a DRBL server must first be set up in order to use Clonezilla to do mass cloning. (unicast, broadcast and multicast are supported)

The operating screens are nothing to write home about visually, but they are easy to use and follow.

Here's a little peak:

UN-officially i have been told that Clonezilla works quite well for Windows as well.

I can't vouch for this, because I don't use Windows.

Let me wrap this up by saying that at the time of writing this, Norton Ghost is normally $70 dollars.

So while I have nothing against this excellent software package, for those of us who are a fan of open source, or can't afford Ghost, consider Clonezilla for the job.

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