What is Clonezilla ?
You’re probably familiar with the popular proprietary commercial package Norton Ghost®, and its OpenSource counterpart, Partition Image. The problem with these software packages is that it takes a lot of time to massively clone systems to many computers. You’ve probably also heard of Symantec’s solution to this problem, Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition® with multicasting. Well, now there is an OpenSource clone system (OCS) solution called Clonezilla with unicasting and multicasting!
Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partition Image, ntfsclone, and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla server edition. Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla server edition 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 server edition 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!
Features of Clonezilla
Free (GPL) Software.
Filesystem supported: ext2, ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, and FAT, NTFS of MS Windows. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux or MS windows. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. 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.
Multicast is supported in Clonezilla server edition, which is suitable for massively 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.
Based on Partimage, ntfsclone and dd to clone 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.