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.
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.