Procedure Edit

There are various cloning solutions for different purposes.

FOG Edit

FOG, the Free, Opensource Ghost can image machines remotely, by letting the clients boot a network PXE system, that restores an image onto the client.

Clonezilla Edit

Clonezilla can image the machines via a liveCD to/from either a usb drive or over the network. Clonezilla has a very simple wizard.

dd Edit

Or you could perhaps just use plain dd, which is a command that comes with most linux distributions. This gives you raw disk copy and all the linux command-line flexibility that comes with it.

To backup the mbr of /dev/hda:

dd if=/dev/hda of=disk.mbr bs=512 count=1

To restore the mbr of /dev/hda:

dd if=disk.mbr of=/dev/hda bs=512 count=1

To only restore the partition table of /dev/hda:

dd if=disk.mbr of=/dev/hda bs=1 count=64 skip=446 seek=446

Windows issues Edit

Cloning a windows machine requires a sysprep or likewise if the hardware on the cloned machine is not close to identical to the clone source machine.

Suggestions Edit

The clonezilla image could be customed to save your most common options, or at least default to them. If anybody makes such a thing, please add a howto on this article.