The word clone implies exact replica of something. So basically Clonezilla is a cloning program which is used for disk imaging, partitioning and data recovery. It helps perform system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. It saves and restores only blocks in use on the hard drive if the file system is supported. The cloned data can then be saved as an image file or as a duplicated copy of the data.
The Clonezilla disk imaging software supports major partition and file system types and a server edition of the program can clone multiple computers simultaneously from a single disk image. Clonezilla can also work with everything from multicast to push images to large number of computers if they support PXE booting and Wake – on LAN.
Types of Clonezilla:
There are two types of Clonezilla available for free download: Clonezilla Live and Clonezilla SE (Server Edition). Clonezilla Live is used mainly for single machine backup and restore, and is the most appropriate version for the majority of general users. Clonezilla Live allows you to use CD/DVD or USB flash drive to boot and run Clonezilla. Clonezilla SE is used to deploy many computers simultaneously; as many as forty or even more. The Server Edition would only be necessary for specific tasks such as large corporate rollouts. For Clonezilla SE a DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux) server must be set first to perform mass cloning tasks.
- It is a free GPL software.
- Supported file systems: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs 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 and VMWare ESX, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS.
- LVM2 (Linux Logical Volume Manager 2, stack cable block device) is supported.
- Smart Copying for supported file systems. For unsupported file systems sector-to-sector copying is done via dd.
- Multicast supported in Clonezilla Server Edition (SE).
- The image format is transparent, open and flexible.
- Save and restore not only partitions but also whole disks.
- X86 or x86-64 processor
- 196 of system memory (RAM)
- Boot device, e.g. CD/DVD Drive, USB port, PXE, or hard drive
Limitations of Clonezilla
- The destination partition must be equal or larger than the source one
- Recovery Clonezilla live with multiple CDS or DVDS is not implemented yet
- Differential/incremental backup is not implemented yet
- Live imaging/cloning is not implemented yet
- Software RAID/fake RAID is not supported by default (extra manual processing is required)