Automating System Imaging and Cloning with Clonezilla

Short Form


System administration


It’s a routine job for a system administrator to do system imaging and cloning. Clonezilla is designed for this purpose, and is licensed under GPL. It’s similar to Symantec Ghost or Acronis True Image. Based on DRBL, partclone, and udpcast, Clonezilla allows you to do system deployment or bare metal backup and recovery interactively or even automatically. The file systems supported by Clonezilla are ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs of GNU/Linux, FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, and HFS+ of Mac OS, UFS of FreeBSD, and VMFS3 of VMware ESX. Therefore you can image or clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, FreeBSD, and VMware ESX. LVM2 under GNU/Linux is supported, too. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (Server Edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can restore many computers simultaneously.
Clonezilla is not only for a newbie system administrator, but also for a veteran. This talk will cover some of the automating scenarios which a veteran administrator might need, including
a. Unattended recovery CD or USB flash drive
b. Unattended recovery with an file server (Samba server, ssh server, or NFS server)
c. Automating disk to disk cloning
d. Automating creation of multiple live USB flash drives or bootable hard drivers
e. PXE booting and unattended restoring with remote monitoring

Speaking experience

1. Given more than 70 lessons about DRBL and Clonezilla in Taiwan from 2002
2. Given a talk "An approach towards hierarchical. integration for embedded system,. clusters and grid: the DRBL project" in GFK Summer Workshop 2004, Seoul, Korea.
3. Given 6 talks about DRBL and Clonezilla in Libre Software Meeting in France since 2006 to 2011.
4. Presented the project DRBL at the Free Software Contest in France in 2007.
5. Given 2 talks in NCHC booth during supercomputing conference since 2007.
6. Given 1 talk in 2010.
7. Given 1 talk in Opensource Bridge 2011.

A similar talk was given in LSM, France, 2011:
While this talk in Opensource Bridge will be focused on automating.


  • Steven shiau


    Steven Shiau is a researcher at the NCHC (National Center for High-performance Computing), Taiwan. While there he wrote parallel and distributed program to simulate plasma. This program formed the basic idea for the future development of the free software DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux), a rapid deployment software for distributed PC cluster and education environment. With Kuo-Lien Huang, Ceasar Sun, Jazz Wang and Thomas Tsai, he developed another free software “Clonezilla”, an open source clone system. He is the project leader of the file system imaging tool “Partclone”. He is also one of GParted developers, maintaining GParted live. The project DRBL won first place in ‘Public Sector Applications’ category at the Free Software Contest in France in 2007. He is the division leader of Software Technology Division at NCHC now, the Chair of the Board of Directors, SLAT (Software Liberty Association of Taiwan), and spends most of his time in the development of DRBL, Clonezilla and promoting the use of free software and high-performance computing.

  • 0303108


    Chen-kai (Ceasar) Sun

    • Software Development Division
      National Center for High-Performance Computing


  • Imag0045


    Thomas Tsai is a free software developer and assistand researcher, works on NCHC.

    DRBL – Diskless Remote Boot in Linux
    Clonezilla – A free software disaster recovery, disk cloning and deployment solution.
    Partclone – Tool to make partition as image with GPL license.
    Tuxboot – The advanced clonezilla_live usb creator modify from Unetbootin
    KOHA – An open source library system.

  • Wang

    Yao-Tsung Wang

    Assocaited Researcher


    Jazz Yao-Tsung Wang is a co-developer of DRBL/Clonezilla team in Free
    Software Lab, NCHC, NARL, Taiwan. Free Software Lab in NCHC mainly
    develop open source software for education including DRBL, clonezilla,
    partclone, Tux2Live, etc. DRBL/Clonezilla team are one of the winners
    in Trophees du Libre competition ( in the
    category “Public sector applications”. Natioanl Center for
    High-performance Computing (NCHC) is the only supercomputing center in
    Taiwan. It’s a non-profit organization founded by Taiwan’s National
    Science Council (NSC). Our mission is to assist researchers on a
    national level. His speaking experience includes:

    1 “Building Smart Outlets Using Arduino”, LCA 2011, 2011-01-24
    2 "ClassCloud: switch your PC Classroom into Cloud Testbed ", RMLL 2010, 2010-07-07
    3 “Building an Cloud Computing Analysis System for Intrusion
    Detection System”, Cloud Slam’09, 2009-04-22
    4 “BoF: Clonezilla Hands-On Lab”, LinuxWorld Conference & Expo 2008,
    5 “Massive Deployment of Kerrighed Virtual SMP Cluster using DRBL”,
    Open Source Grid and Cluster Conference 2008, 2008-05-16

    Open Source Projects

    - Author of hadoop4win, an open source project.
    - Author of drbl-hadoop, an open source project.
    - Member of partclone, an open source project.
    - Member of Clonezilla, an open source project.
    - Member of Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL), an open source project.
    - Author of TRTC NEIHU Embedded Wireless Unite, close source project outsourced by MiTAC
    - Build underwater ocean ecology observation system at KenTing Bay Area for Core Reef Observation.