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Old May 14, 2012, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Linux-related programs

I've tried out many Linux programs (listed on the Distrowatch and Linux Distros-Linux Freedom sites) but at least one of them sounded like something completely different, so yesterday I downloaded it.

It's called Clonezilla. I'd tried before to clone a hard drive but have always failed. This time, using Clonezilla, it worked - I found I could copy/duplicate/clone (whatever the right word is) a 40gb main (Windows) hard drive onto an 80gb drive that was jumpered as the slave.

Distrowatch lists another program called Parted Magic that I haven't tried yet. I wonder if there are other useful, specialised programs included in their list. Has anybody else tried them?
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Old May 14, 2012, 12:03 PM   #2
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Clonezilla is a good way to make backups and clone drives. Basically, it's just a front end with scripts that uses programs like fsarchiver, partimage and dd (for unrecognized file system types and MBR backup) to make it easy to use.

I keep it on a USB flash drive that I boot into for making disk images backups periodically. I like it because it's fast and the backups are compressed and don't take up a lot of room.

When I want uncompressed backups (so I can mount the file systems in disk images as loop devices and read and write to them just like a physical drive), I use ddrescue (similar to dd only it has the ability to work around sector errors with failing drives) to make sector by sector copies and write them to a disk image file (or write directly to another drive for cloning purposes). That way, I know I have an exact copy of the original drive, without any file system interpretation getting in the way, or any compression that could cause issues later if part of the drive I'm backing up to starts getting any sector errors later.

Parted Magic has some of the same utilities on it that Clonezilla uses, and also gives you a GUI so you can easily load programs like GParted for making partition changes.

You'll find lots of similar Linux distros around (and you can also install the same programs yourself in Linux distros you use, and they sometimes come with those types of utilities already preinstalled).
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