The best tool to clone hard drives, is free!

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While not a security related post…I thought I would let everyone know about a really good open source hard drive cloning software that I recently discovered when I needed to clone and image multiple Linux systems. It’s called Clonezilla and works just like Symantec Ghost but faster and free.

From the Clonezilla web site:

“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!”

Yeah, it’s fast alright! I have been using the Clonezilla Live to image hard drives and it has been working great. You can also run it off of a USB thumb drive if you are so inclined. So, don’t fork over $$ to that evil empire called “Symantec”…give Clonezilla a try if you want to clone a drive or multiple drives. 🙂


  1. Jim C. says:

    CloneZilla is a great app. I hope it’s not inapprpriate to offer an alternative. I’d like to suggest Kleo Bare Metal Backup for Servers

    Kleo is graphical wrapper around the excellent open source program partimage. Partimage has always been one of the best open source image backup programs around, but it suffers from a complicated user interface, same as CloneZilla.

    For example, if you wanted to store your backup on the network, you’d first need to manually find the target, and manage mounting the remote share.

    Kleo is a wizard interface that makes the job of running partimage simple without trading away any of the power. Kleo will scan the network and list possible targets. You pick your destination, and Kleo handles the job of connecting to the network share and invoking partimage with exactly the right set of command line options.

    We bundled Kleo with the Carroll-Net Server Rescue Kit. A LiveCD jam packed with with 100s of specialized server recovery tools. All the best tools we like to have at hand when attempting server recovery — Gparted, NTpasswd, Dd_rescue, install-mgr, grub, and many more.

    Both Kleo & the Carroll-Net Server Recovery kit are free for any use, personal or business. The Server Recovery Kit is released as GPLv2 and Kleo is released as Freeware.

    You download a copy of Kleo or read more information online at

    Jim C.

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