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What I ideally would like is a free software solution which can:

  • Boot from a CD/DVD/USB-stick and
  • Clone a complete hard drive or a partition and
  • Send the resulting image file over the network through
  • Windows file sharing (SMB, I could use SAMBA on my server to receive the image) or through
  • FTP or through
  • SFTP or through
  • SCP
  • It should work with Linux and Windows file-systems (where specific file system support is necessary)

Is there anything good out there like this? I know Wikipedia lists a lot of cloning software. But I'm looking for a personal recommendation which you have used yourself, as I find it more credible (I'll see from the upvotes if the answer is liked by a lot of visitors).

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I recommend Clonezilla. It is free and it supports the use of the network for imaging. This utility is top shelf! Since this is Linux, you can be sure that SCP and SFTP are supported.

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Clonezilla Supports all of the following:

  • Boot from a CD/DVD/USB-stick and
  • Clone a complete hard drive or a partition and
  • Send the resulting image file over the network through
  • Windows file sharing (SMB, I could use SAMBA on my server to receive the image) or through
  • FTP or through
  • SFTP or through
  • SCP
  • It should work with Linux and Windows file-systems (where specific file system support is necessary)
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Boot any live linux distro that includes Samba support (that is, most of them). Mount the filesystem you want to put the image on. Use 'dd' to copy the raw disk to the target directory. For instance, if the disk you want an image of is sd0, then you would do:

dd if=/dev/sd0 of=/mnt/remote/drive.img

You'll want to read up about dd (especially the bs option) to make sure you get good performance.

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You can boot from a Linux LiveCD and use the dd utility over the network. You don't even need to set up a Samba share.

See here.

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