Confessions of a Clonezilla addict

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. … 🙄 😉


6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Clonezilla addict

  1. Remy

    I love it too! We use it at work, as we speak 3 laptops are being restored via the network, 900MB/min each :P. I’ve written a small custom backup/restore script, and it loads it via grub. Saves time, you only have to boot from USB, select which laptop type it is and press Y.

  2. zbreaker

    Nice read.

    My condition is the exact same as yours. I’ve got a 750g external drive with my various Slackware, Fedora, Sidux and Debian images ready to go in an instant. Clonezilla is indeed an amazing tool. I wholeheartedly made a PayPal contribution to the author and will probably do so again.

    Worth its weight in gold!

  3. evidex

    Actually, you just reminded me that it’s time to backup my OS drives, data drives are all mirrored to a server 🙂

    Clonezilla rocks, and it’s so simple, easy, and versatile. They’ve done good work 🙂

  4. pkm

    wow. I should really get clonezilla.

    I have just today spent 1hr watching aptitude get packages. I copied my apt cache from my old now formatted partition hoping I wouldnt need to re-download vlc,firefox etc packages over my 64kbit/s broadband.
    My ubuntu 9.10 broke grub with error 15. So installed Kubuntu 9.04.

    I thought, ok il listen to some music in amarok, but it doesnt play. it starts,and stops. Downloading LXDE so I can quit this strange environment!

    Hmm….Atleast my data is ok

    This funny business makes me just want to use puppy linux!


  5. Pepo

    Hi Mike, I am a fan of Clonezilla too, but I have a problem, I made a copy of a server with RAID1 (hardware). How I can retrieve this information into a computer that does not have RAID (the computer only has a SATA disk)?


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