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, partclone, and udpcast, allows you to do 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!
Features of Clonezilla
* Free (GPL) Software.
* Filesystem supported: ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, and HFS+ of Mac OS. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows and Intel-based Mac 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. 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 SE, 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, partclone, 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.
* 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.
* Software RAID/fake RAID is not supported by default. It's can be done manually only.
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