Clonezilla

The Free and Open Source Software for Disk Imaging and Cloning

Clonezilla Server Edition

How to setup a Clonezilla server ?

A DRBL server must first be prepared in order to use Clonezilla to do massively clone. There are 2 ways you can do, i.e.
  1. Use DRBL Live without installation it on a server
  2. To put DRBL live on boot media (CD or USB flash drive), the basic steps are to download pre-build DRBL Live then put it in a boot media (CD, USB flash drive or USB hard drive). Two types of files are available, iso and zip. The former one is for CD, the latter is for USB flash drive. Once the boot media is ready, you can boot it on the machine you want to run as DRBL server. After it enters X-window, you can click "Clonezilla SE" icon to do the runtime configuration. Then it will prompt you how to do that.


  3. The 2nd method is to install and configure DRBL on GNU/Linux system.
  4. To install and configure a DRBL server, check this installation doc then follow it to setup such a Clonezilla server. The setup might take about 30 minutes to a few hours, it depends on your internet bandwidth. Once DRBL is installed on the server, Clonezilla is ready. During the configuration, you can choose to use the OS on the server as client's working environment when doing Clonezilla imaging/cloning job, or to use Clonezilla live as the OS of client in Clonezilla SE. For how to use the latter mode, you can refer to here.

    When setting up the DRBL server, it is recommended to collect the MAC addresses of the client computers and let the DRBL server offer the same IP address for the clients every time it boots. If you prefer to use DRBL live, remember to isolate the network environment from others. This will keep you from cloning the system to incorrect or unknown clients. Besides, if you do not provide the static IP address to client, different operating systems (like GNU/Linux and MS windows), they use different DHCP client ID. Therefore even it's the same client, when it boots GNU/Linux via DRBL, it will leases one IP address, then next time when it boots into local MS windows, it will lease another different IP address. This is annoying sometimes. However, if you are 100% certain that no other computer will be involved in the DRBL environment, and you do not care about the different IP address leasing problem, you can use the range in dhcpd.conf. In this case, you can even use the "impatient method" to setup the DRBL environment.

How to use Clonezilla server edition ?

  • As root, run "dcs" in DRBL server to switch clients' mode. You will see two menus: clonezilla-start and clonezilla-stop like this:
    drbl_client_switch screenshot

    Check clonezilla-start by "space" key, various modes will be shown:
    • clonezilla-save-disk: clonezilla save disk mode
    • clonezilla-restore-disk: clonezilla restore disk mode
    • clonezilla-save-parts: clonezilla save partitions mode
    • clonezilla-restore-parts: clonezilla restore partitions mode
    • clonezilla mode
    • This is what the graphic mode looks like:

      clonezilla_save_disk

    Again, check the mode you want by "space" key, then follow the menus to do it. Once the mode in DRBL server is ready, you can boot your clients via PXE to save or restore the image.

    To stop clonezilla:
    As root, run "dcs", then choose "Clonezilla-stop". Or you can use "drbl-ocs stop".
  • Examples:
    • The following is an example of how to save an image from a single computer (called computer M) and then restore it to 39 computers in a 40-computer classroom:
      • Set the Clonezilla server to be clonezilla-save-disk mode: In the Clonezilla server,
        • run "dcs", then choose "clonezilla-start" (use the space key to mark it). Next, choose"clonezilla-save-disk" (use space key to mark it)
      • Turn on computer M, set it as network boot (PXE or etherboot) in the BIOS or by pressing the hotkey (refer to your motherboard manual) when it is booting.
      • When computer M finishes the network boot, if you do not enter image and device name when running "dcs" -> clonezilla-start -> clonezilla-save-disk, a prompt will ask you to name the image and choose the device. Now enter the name (e.g. nomorems) and then choose the disk you want to save it to. Otherwise, it will use the image and device name you already inputted in the clonezilla server to save the image.
      • Once the image is saved, set the mode to be clonezilla-restore-disk in the Clonezilla server. As an example, in the Clonezilla server,
        • run "dcs". Next, choose "clonezilla-start" (use space key to mark it). Next, choose "clonezilla-restore-disk" (use space key to mark it).
        • The program will ask you which source image to restore. In this example, we chose the image "nomorems."
      • Make sure the clients (i.e. the computers to be cloned) will boot from the network (PXE or etherboot) then turn on the clients to let them boot from network.
      • The clients will begin to clone the system image "nomorems" to their harddisks.
      • Once all clients finish cloning, you can stop clonezilla by dcs -> clonezilla-stop.
  • More examples are available here.

  • PS: You can refer to DRBl-winroll to make the restored (cloned) MS Windows with a different hostname automatically.