Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery.
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 clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. This increases the clone efficiency. At the NCHC’s Classroom C, Clonezilla SE was used to clone 41 computers simultaneously. It took only about 10 minutes to clone a 5.6 GBytes system image to all 41 computers via multicasting!
Clonezilla Live is a small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for x86/amd64 (x86-64) based computers. Clonezilla SE (Server Edition) has been developed from 2004, and it is used to clone many computers simultaneously. It is an extremely useful tool, however, it does have several limitations. In order to use it, you must first prepare a DRBL server AND the machine to be cloned must boot from a network (e.g. PXE/Etherboot/gPXE). To address these limitations, in 2007, the Free Software Lab at the NCHC has combined Debian Live with Clonezilla to produce “Clonezilla Live,” a software that can be used to easily clone individual machines. The primary benefit of Clonezilla Live is that it eliminates the need to set up a DRBL server ahead of time and the need for the computer being cloned to boot from a network. Clonezilla Live can be used to clone individual computers using a CD/DVD or USB flash drive. Though the image size is limited by the boot media’s storage capacity, this problem can be eliminated by using a network filesystem such as sshfs or samba.
In Clonezilla live, two accounts are available: (1) account “user” with sudo privilege, password is “live”, (2) administration account “root”, no password. Therefore you can not login as root, the only way to get root privilege is to login as user, and run “sudo su -” to become root. Note, for old clonezilla live (naming is clonezilla-live-2007XXXX), root’s password is “drbllive”. For better security, it is recommended to change the passwords of user and root by command “passwd” before you allow remote access. When Clonezilla live boots, the ssh service is NOT automatically started, and the setting in /etc/hosts.deny does NOT block any connection. If you want to remotely ssh login into your Clonezilla live, you have to start ssh service by “/etc/init.d/ssh start”.