Clonezilla LiveCD, popularly known as Clonezilla, is an open source (free) Linux distribution based on the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. It provides a Live CD that contains all the necessary utilities and libraries for cloning the content of hard disk drives. The distribution offers a minimalistic, text-mode interface, specifically designed to load fast enough to help system administrators, and even regular users, with their hard disk cloning tasks.

Supports many file systems

Clonezilla LiveCD supports the following file systems: Btrfs,  EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, ReiserFS, Reiser4, XFS, JFS, FAT12/16/32, NTFS, HFS+, UFS, minix, VMFS3 and VMFS5. In addition, both MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) partition tables are supported by Clonezilla, which is distributed as Live CD ISO images, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, and PAE (Physical Address Extension).

LVM2 is also supported

Unlike the G4U (Ghost for UNIX) or G4L (Ghost for Linux) projects, Clonezilla only uses blocks in hard disk drivers, which are saved and restored, increasing the efficiency of the entire cloning process. LVM2 is also supported, as well as unicast and multicast in the PXEBoot version, which is suitable for batch hard drive cloning tasks. Remote cloning of hard drives is also possible with the Clonezilla Live CD.

Distributed as Live CDs

In order to run Clonezilla LiveCD, you will need to burn the ISO image to a blank CD or deploy it on a USB flash drive with a dedicated utility, such as Unetbootin. It runs only in live mode and it can’t be installed. It can be used to clone almost any known operating system, including any Linux distribution, any BSD distribution (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD), Minix, Microsoft Windows, VMWare ESX, as well as Intel-based Mac OS.

Live CD boot options

When you first start the Clonezilla LiveCD, it will display five options. The first one, named “Clonezilla live,” is the default selection and the one that should be used by anyone. The “Other modes of Clonezilla live,” is the second option, and it allows users to start the Live CD with a different resolution than the default option, start the entire system in RAM, ejecting the live media, as well as to use the safe graphics settings and failsafe modes.

The third option, “Local operating system in harddrive (if available)” can be used to boot the operating system that is currently installed on the respective machine. With the “Memtest & FreeDOS” option you will be able to test your computer’s RAM (system memory) and access the FreeDOS DOS-compatible operating system. Finally, the last option will allow you to boot an operating system over the network via iPXE (Preboot Execution Environment).