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Cloning With Linux 3 Ways - page 2

Disk Duplication Demystified

  • June 17, 2010
  • By Paul Ferrill

Clonezilla is a Linux distribution specifically created for the purpose of cloning disk drives. It works for virtually any file system you can think of. Clonezilla comes in two basic flavors, Live and SE. The live version works in much the same way as the Ubuntu Live USB disk. You boot your computer from the Live USB and perform the disk copy operations on any drives connected to the computer. Clonezilla uses a number of tools along with a simple menu system to help guide you through the process. The default partition copy tool is Partclone. Clonezilla SE (Server Edition) is meant to be used to clone disks over a network.

The latest release of Clonezilla is 1.2.5.17 and comes in either a Debian or Ubuntu version. You can now download an AMD64 version which includes support for 64-bit versions of all the applications and the imaging of large partitions. All the applications have been updated to the latest versions along with the 2.6.32-12 version of the Linux kernel. The hardest part of using Clonezilla to image your hard drives is making sure you know which drive is the master and which drive will be your copy. Clonezilla also takes care of copying the Master Boot Record (MBR) while accomplishing the same task with the Ubuntu Live CD method requires some command line magic.

Option Three: dd

If you're a command line wizard, you could always use the dd command. The command to image a drive with dd would be something like the following:

# dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

This assumes that /dev/sda is the drive you wish to copy and /dev/sdb is the target drive. You'll find this method to be about the same speed as the GParted method mentioned in Option One above. It really doesn't matter which method you choose. The important thing is that you do some kind of system backup. Computers do fail from time to time, and it seems to be just at the time when you can least afford it. Save yourself some grief down the road and go backup your system now. Go ahead, we'll wait.


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