I think I may be addicted to Clonezilla. I don’t know what the symptoms are, but if they include bouncing between operating systems more than twice a day, scrounging a 256Mb USB drive off your friends just to have one that exactly fits the Clonezilla boot image, or dedicating one whole external drive to an array of system backups spreading out over the last two or three months … then I’m in the club.
It makes things too easy. I don’t hardly recall installing Arch except for once or twice a few months ago, when I originally bought this machine — I can restore an installation in a third of the time it takes to install a new one (and with Arch, which takes only about 15 minutes to put into place, that’s saying something). USB2.0 chops the transfer rates for an entire installation all the way down below 10 minutes (depending on the size, of course), and booting from a USB key to a fully live environment is a minute or less.
So start to finish, I can have a brand-new, clean system in place and ready for updating in less time than it takes to make a bowl of soup and a sandwich.
And from that point, I can cause any amount of trouble. I have a backup of the machine from the day I brought it home. Another from the first beta of Ubuntu 10.04. Two or three in Arch, usually segregated by window manager. It’s pathetic.
I blame the Clonezilla crew, of course. If they hadn’t created such an easy and speedy tool to work with, I wouldn’t have three systems and four different operating systems all mirrored on an external drive, ready for reinstallation at a moment’s notice. If it wasn’t so smooth and effortless, I could at least procrastinate on the grounds that it was a hassle to do it.
But a hassle it is not. I don’t know of many other backup packages, but I would be surprised if there was another one that was faster, easier, or more intuitive than this. If there is though, don’t tell me. That might require me to confront my addiction, and we addicts are exceptionally fearful of change. …