How to clone hard disk on Linux using Clonezilla

With cloning software like Clonezilla, you can replicate a computer's operating system, drives, software, and patches. Here is our comprehensive guide to cloning hard disk on Linux

Disk cloning refers to the process of copying data from one disk to another, thus creating a one-to-one copy of the drive. Technically, this process is possible using the copy-and-paste method.

However, you won’t be able to copy hidden files, hidden folders, and files currently in use. With cloning software like Clonezilla, you can replicate a computer’s operating system, drives, software, and patches.

Clonezilla

It is one of the best partition and disk imaging/cloning software for Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and Minix. It is available in three different versions;

    • Live version
    • Lite-Server
    • SE version

Clonezilla Live is responsible for performing a clone on a single computer. An action like cloning your internal disk to an external drive can be done with this version.

Lite or SE is good for large and complex cloning processes. It includes cloning several computers at a go or even cloning remote machines via the network.

With CloneZilla, not only are you capable of performing a full backup of a device to an external drive but also you can do backups on an entire disk or specific partition. Storing of the cloned data can be done in two ways including a copy of that data or an encrypted image file.

Why Clonezilla?

Clonezilla supports many filesystems supported by different operating systems and software. When making a backup of an unsupported filesystem, the tool makes use of the dd command. It makes a sector to sector copy of the drive. With dd command, the tool doesn’t require to know the type of filesystem used. It also supports remote backups using SSH, SAMBA or NFS Shares.

Cloning the Hard disk using Clonezilla for Linux

In this particular post, we are going to show you how to clone a hard drive, which hosts our Ubuntu Server-18.04 to an external disk. Make sure the external drive is at least the same size as the disk you are cloning; otherwise, the process won’t be successful.

Step 1) To get started, download Clonezilla from the official website.

Download Clonezilla

Step 2) Ensure its a stable version, and you meet the system requirements. Next, you need to create a bootable USB drive, CD/DVD of this tool. There are several tools available to perform this task. Please refer to our step-by-step guide on creating a Clonezilla bootable Live USB drive and then continue to the next step.

Step 3) Attach your external drive that stores the backed up data. Insert your bootable media of CloneZilla into the computer and reboot the system. You need to change the regular boot order and use the bootable disk of Clonezilla. This process differs from one computer to another.

Step 4) Select the bootable disk of Clonezilla, and you should see the welcome screen. Choose the Clonezilla Live option and hit enter to proceed further.

CloneZilla-Boot-Menu
CloneZilla-Boot-Menu

Step 5) The language screen should appear. Select the language to use for the cloning process. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate through the different options.

CloneZilla Language Option Screen
Language Screen with several languages options to select from

Step 6) The following screen should give you an option to configure your keyboard. Older versions of Clonezilla give you four options from which you can choose. The Don’t touch keymap option should work just fine.

With the latest version of Clonezilla, you only have two options. Keep the default keyboard layout, which is the US layout, or change the keyboard layout option. In this post, we should stick with the US keyboard layout.

CloneZilla Keyboard Configuration Screen
Configure the keyboard you wish to use.

Step 7) You should see the start screen. You can either start Clonezilla or drop into the interactive shell.

Start CloneZilla screen.
Start the Clonezilla screen

Step 8) In this post, we shall clone a local disk; therefore, we should use the device-device option.

Step 9) The system gives you an option to choose which mode you want to use to run the wizard. There are a beginner and expert option. If you are a beginner to this process, click the beginner option.

In situations where the external drive is larger than the disk you are cloning, it would be useful to select the expert option. It should enable you to choose which partitions you want to use.

The expert mode should be used with extreme caution since you can end up losing your data if you are not sure of what you are doing.

Clone Zilla Beginner/Expert
Clonezilla Beginner or Expert mode

Step 10) In this step, you need to choose the type of cloning you are performing — for example, disk to local disk clone, disk to remote disk clone, etc.

It’s important to note that any clone that involves a remote drive, you have to use tools like SSH, SAMBA, and IP addresses.

We should use the disk-to-local disk option. This option should perform a full disk clone, including MBR, partition table, and data.

dis to local disk cloning.
Choose the type of clone

Step 11) You need to choose the source disk to use when performing the clone. It is important to note that the names used here can be quite confusing at times, i.e., sda, sdb, etc.

You can also use the disk size if you are sure about it. In case you have no idea which is the source disk, reboot the machine and consult BIOS.

For this particular post, we shall be using Vmware virtual disk, and sda here is the source disk.

Source disk to clone
Source disk to be used for cloning

Step 12) You are required to choose the target or destination drive. You need to be very careful since the cloning process is destructive and will wipe all the data, including partition tables and MBR. Here, sdb is our destination disk.

Choose destination drive for cloning
Choose the target disk for the cloning process

Step 13) You should see an option to check for errors and attempt to repair them automatically. If you are sure that your source disk and the file system is okay, choose to “skip checking/repairing the source file system.”

You should then see a prompt on the shell below, asking you to press enter to continue. Hit enter if you are ready to start the cloning process.

Check and repair source disk screen.
Check and repair source disk.

Step 14) Now, Clonezilla should takeover and start the cloning process. It displays a report of the activity taking place and gives you two warnings whether you wish to continue with the cloning process.
You need to press y for Yes or n for No. The third warning will give you an option to clone the boot loader or not.

Confirm-Disk-Cloning-Warning-Messages screen.
Confirm you want to continue with disk cloning.

Step 15) When you choose Yes to continue with the cloning process, Clonezilla first creates a partition table on the target/destination drive. You should then see a warning giving you an option to clone the boot loader or not. Press Y if you wish to clone.

Creating partition layout on target disk screen.
Creating partition layout on the target disk

Step 16) Now, Clonezilla starts the cloning process without any user interference. Ensure you do not power off your computer during this cloning process.

It gives you a graphical report of every activity taking place.

Clonezilla-Disk-Cloning-Process screen
Clonezilla-Disk-Cloning-Process.

Step 17) After finishing the cloning process, it generates a report and also gives you an option to use Clonezilla again. Press 1 to stay in console mode or 2 to run the exit wizard. Press Enter to open the exit screen.

Clonezilla-Linux-Disk-Cloning-Completed
Clonezilla-Linux-Disk-Cloning-Completed

Step 18) The next screen presents you with four options.

  • “Poweroff” to stop
  • “reboot” to restart
  • “cmd” to open the interactive shell
  • “rerun1” to start another cloning process

Here, we shall choose the power off option.

Poweroff-Machine and stop Clonezilla screen
Poweroff-Machine and stop Clonezilla

The Final Step: That’s it! We are done with the cloning process. You can detach your old disk and use the new drive to boot your machine. If the old drive is still suitable for use, you can store it for future use or use it as an external backup disk.

Arun Kumar
Arun did his bachelor in computer engineering and loves enjoying his spare time writing for FOSS Linux. He uses Fedora as the daily driver and loves tinkering with interesting distros on VirtualBox. He works during the day and reads anything tech at night. Apart from blogging, he loves swimming and playing tennis.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

STAY CONNECTED

23,420FansLike
377FollowersFollow
16SubscribersSubscribe

LATEST ARTICLES

Getting Started with Linux Operating System

The Linux operating system brings forth a vibrant mix of features and security, making it the best alternative to macOS or Windows operating systems. In this post, we will give you a master guide on Getting started with Linux systems - taking you from a complete beginner to a level where you can begin testing the various Linux distributions available with much ease.

How to Create a Comprehensive Mail Server on Ubuntu

Postal is a free and open-source mail server used to send and receive emails. It comes loaded with tons of excellent features and functionalities, making it extremely popular among large organizations as well as in enterprise settings.

The 10 Best Linux Performance Monitoring Tools

Do you want to monitor the performance of your Linux system? Are you looking for some powerful performance monitoring tools to help you out? If you agree, it's your day as we have put together a detailed list of the ten best Linux performance monitoring tools.

How to Boot your Windows or Linux PC from a USB Drive

Sometime back, the process of installing an operating system required users to pop a bootable media disk into their DVD or CD drive and use it to boot the PC. But times have changed. Nowadays, the most common way of installing an OS is booting from a USB drive. The use of USB drives is further propelled by the current production of slim and lightweight laptops with no support for DVD/CD drives.

Python For Loop: Everything You Need to Know

Loops are one of the essential elements in any programming language, and Python is not an exception to it. Loops are used to repeat a statement or a block of statements multiple times. If there were no concept of loops in programming languages, we have to write each statement again and again for the number of times we want to execute it.

How to install LibreOffice on Fedora

If you are looking for a feature-rich and reliable Office Suite for your Fedora PC, then you have an excellent option at hand. LibreOffice, a free and opensource app, has stood the test of time and evolved into a beautiful alternative to Microsoft Office.

MUST READ

Buyers who wish to go for a machine that is based on Linux often show interest in Chromebooks due to the form factor and extended battery life capabilities. Although ChromeOS power these machines, users can still miss out on a more genuine Linux experience. For those who happen to agree, the new Lemur Pro by System76 might get some heads turning.
Linux is growing faster than ever. As per the latest report, there is a drop in the Windows 10 market share for the first time, and Linux's market share has improved to 2.87% this month. Most of the features in the list were rolled out in the Pop OS 20.04. Let's a detailed look into the new features, how to upgrade, and a ride through video.

5 Best Ways to Free up Hard Disk Space in Ubuntu

Hard disk space can easily get filled up with cached package files, old kernels, and other obsolete files that occupy unwanted hard disk space. Here are top five best and safer ways to clean and free up hard disk space in Ubuntu. We show you Terminal and GUI way of cleaning up system.

6 best task managers for Linux

One of the essential tools in any Linux distribution is a Task Manager. It is a system monitor application that gives you a report of all programs running on your computer and the status of your RAM and CPU usage.

Top 5 Linux Distros for Windows Users

When Microsoft initially released Windows 7 in October 2009, the software giant committed to providing ten years of support for its popular operating system.  The much-maligned Microsoft was true to their word, support for Windows 7 ended just yesterday a little over ten years after its release.

Test drive a Linux distro online before you hate it

Enter DistroTest.net, a website that allows Linux users to test various distros online, without downloading the ISO or installing the distro. With DistroTest.net, you can check a distro with no muss, no fuss.