Bare metal with text

Bare metal backup and restore with Clonezilla

Introduction

Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. Three types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla liveClonezilla lite server, and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla lite server or SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk. This increases the clone efficiency. With some high-end hardware in a 42-node cluster, a multicast restoring at rate 8 GB/min was reported.

Here we are going to use Clonezilla live to backup the disk in our computer to restore it later.

More info here.

Prerequisites

Since I already have a PXE server that I can use to boot Clonezilla from the network, I will use that. But you can just as easily put Clonezilla live on a USB drive and use it to boot the machine you want to backup or restore.

For storage I am going to use a Synology NAS. You can use SSH, Samba, NFS or WebDAV to backup to the Synology NAS. You can also store the backup on a local disk or use Amazon S3 storage.

Installation

See Dockerized netboot.xyz on Synology NAS and router on how to install the PXE server and netboot.xyz that also has Clonezilla on board. Remember that you can also put Clonezilla live on a USB drive. You don’t necessarily need a PXE server or netboot.xyz.

In this example I am going to use SSH to connect to the Synology NAS. You can enable this via Synology DSM, Control Panel, Terminal & SNMP. See How to use SSH to connect to Synology NAS for more info on how to enable SSH access.

I suggest creating a dedicated shared folder on the Synology NAS called “clonezilla” where you can store the backups. You can create a shared folder via Synology DSM, Control Panel, Shared Folder.

Remember that you can also use other storage. It is not necessary to use a Synology NAS.

Scenario

Below you will find a complete scenario for the backup and restore. For the restore, the first part i.e. booting Clonezilla is the same as for the backup. This is an example. You can of course experiment with the settings.

In this example I connect to the Synology NAS using SSH. Use your own connection information and credentials there. You can also choose other means like Samba or NFS.

Note that if your Synology shared folder is “clonezilla”, the directory where the Clonezilla image will be saved to or read from will be /clonezilla.

Backup

Restore

For the restore, the first part i.e. booting Clonezilla is the same as for the backup.

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