8 Best Open Source “Disk Cloning/Backup” Softwares for Linux Servers

Disk cloning is the process of copying data from a hard disk to another one, in fact you can do this process by copy & paste but you won’t be able to copy the hidden files and folders or the in-use files, that’s why you need a cloning software to do the job, also you may need the cloning process to save a backup image from your files and folders.

Linux Disk Cloning Tools

8 Linux Disk Cloning Tools

Basically, the cloning software job is to take all disk data, convert them into a single .img file and give it to you, so you can copy it to another hard drive, and here we have the best 8 Open Source Cloning software to do the job for you.

1. Clonezilla

Clonezilla is a Live CD based on Ubuntu & Debian to clone all your hard drive data or to take a backup, licensed under GPL 3, it is similar to Norton Ghost on Windows but more effective.


  1. Support for many filesystems like: ext2, ext3, ext4, btrfs, xfs, and many other filesystems.
  2. Support for BIOS and UEFI.
  3. Support for MPR and GPT partitions.
  4. Ability to reinstall grub 1 and 2 on any attached hard drive.
  5. Works on weak computers ( 200 MB of RAM is needed only).
  6. Many other features.
Clonezilla for Linux

Clonezilla for Linux

Suggested Read: How to Clone or Backup Linux Disk Using Clonezilla

2. Redo Backup

Redo Bakcup also a Live CD tool to clone your drivers easily, Redo Backup is a free & Open Source Live System licensed under GPL 3 to do the job, Features are as the website says.

  1. Easy GUI boots from CD in less than a minute.
  2. No installation required; runs from a CD-ROM or a USB device.
  3. Saves and restores Linux and Windows systems.
  4. Automatically locates local network shares.
  5. Access files even without login.
  6. Recover deleted files, documents, media files quickly.
  7. Internet access with a Chromium browser to download drivers.
  8. Small in size only 250MB Live CD.
Redo Backup for Linux

Redo Backup

  1. Install Redo Backup to Clone/Backup Linux Systems

3. Mondo Rescue

Unlike other cloning software, Mondo doesn’t convert your hard drivers into an .img file, but it will convert them into an .iso image, you can also create a custom Live CD with Mondo using “mindi” which is a special tool developed by Mondo Rescue to clone your data from the Live CD.

It supports most Linux distributions, it also supports FreeBSD, and it is licensed under GPL, You can install Mondo Rescue by using the following link.

MondoRescue for Linux


  1. Install Mondo Rescue to Clone/Backup Linux Systems

4. Partimage

Partimage is an open-source software backup, by default it works under Linux system and available to install from the package manager for most Linux distributions, if you don’t have a Linux system installed by default you can use “SystemRescueCd” which is a Live CD that include Partimage by default to do the cloning process that you want.

Partimage is very fast in cloning hard drivers, but the problem is that it doesn’t support ext4 or btrfs partitions, although that you can use it to clone other filesystems like ext3 and NTFS.

Partimage for Linux


Suggested Read: How to Backup or Clone Linux Partitions Using ‘cat’ Command

5. FSArchiver

FSArchiver is a continuation of Partimage, also a good tool to clone hard disks, it supports cloning Ext4 partitions and NTFS partitions, here’s a list of features:


  1. Support for basic file attributes like owner, permissions, etc.
  2. Support for extended attributes like those used by SELinux.
  3. Support the basic file­system attributes (label, uuid, block­size) for all Linux file­systems.
  4. Support for NTFS partitions of Windows and Ext of Linux and Unix­Like.
  5. Support for checksums which enables you to check for data corruption.
  6. Ability to restore corrupted archive by just skipping the corrupted file.
  7. Ability to have more than one filesystem in an archive.
  8. Ability to compress the archive in many formats like lzo, gzip, bzip2, lzma/xz.
  9. Ability to split big files in size to a smaller one.

You can download FSArchiver and install it on your system, or you can download SystemRescueCD which also contains FSArchiver.

FSArchiver for Linux


6. Partclone

Partclone is a free tool to clone & restore partitions, written in C in first appeared in 2007, it supports many filesystems like ext2, ext3, ext4, xfs, nfs, reiserfs, reiser4, hfs+, btrfs  and it is very simple to use.

Licensed under GPL, it is available as a tool in Clonezilla as well, you can download it as a package.

Partclone for Linux


7. G4L

G4L is a free Live CD system to clone hard disk easily, it’s main feature is that you can compress the filesystem, send it via FTP or CIFS or SSHFS or NFS to any location you want, it also supports GPT partitions since version 0.41, it is licensed under BSD license and available to download for free.

G4L for Linux


Suggested Read: 14 Outstanding Backup Utilities for Linux Systems

8. doClone

doClone is also a free software project that is developed to clone Linux system partitions easily, written in C++, it supports up to 12 different filesystems, it can preform Grub bootloader restoration and can transform the clone image to another computers via LAN, it also supports live cloning which means that you can create a clone from the system even when it is up and running, doClone.

doClone for Linux


There are many other tools to clone your Linux hard disks, Have you used any cloning software from the above list to backup your hard drivers? Which one is the best for you? and also tell us if any other tool if you know, which is not listed here.

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18 Responses

  1. Bob Pegram says:

    I tried Clonezilla. It seemed to work, but when I installed the backup drive to test it, the OS wouldn’t boot. I later found out about G4L and it has worked properly every time I have used it. I boot from a G4L CD to clone the internal drive to a backup.

  2. Cirimax says:

    Do try Systemback for cloning. You can end up with an ISO snapshot of your system and after rebooting from it you can do a full restore of itself on target partition. You may find it in recent linuxlire distros too. Enjoy.

  3. Milton says:

    What about. SystemImager, has anyone use it? what was your experiences?

    • Ravi Saive says:


      No idea about SystemImager tool, is it open source and support Linux platform? have you ever tired it? how it works? could you share..

  4. Ahmed Hussain says:

    Very Nice and Useful article…:Thanks team for preparing this for free.

    Thank you so much.

  5. Rashid says:

    I used clonezilla and found best one but having display issues.

  6. Bill says:

    Couple basic problems with your article.

    1. Cloning is cloning – has NOTHING to do with an image. An image may be an intermediate container, but people just want to get from one to the other. So, for your comparison, note those that don’t need an intermediary container. Matters as cloning will be about twice or half as fast if an intermediate is/n’t needed.

    2. Offline (separately booted live cd), or Live (Online) – you haven’t noted which is which in each. e.g. You note doclone is (can be) live, but you don’t also do the same for mondorescue – which on live systems images the drive off to .iso’s, which through a mindi live rescue cd can be fetched across the network. So, is that an image? Arguable, but the point is 1. above – the intermediary container is just that. Not much germane to the topic of your article – cloning.

    I think you need to distinguish the purpose of the clone – migrate (to new drive, be it in place or not), backup (get your system back, perhaps due to file corruption), or live image (guard against hardware failure).

    To that end, you might also consider various forms of mirroring (‘RAID’) as cloning, be it mdm, lvm, zfs, btrfs, or hardware, and backup / file recovery (rsync) as viable mechanisms, depending upon what you’re trying to do. [So, step one, dear reader – Where is it you’re trying to go?]

    Exploring this would seem to be a welcome service. I came across this via googling “linux “live clone”‘ – nicely presented and written article (given caveats above) – expanding on the topic would appear to be worthwhile.

  7. ashley says:

    hands down easiest I have found – and explained is ddrescue


  8. Ivan says:

    Mondo backup is the shit. It backs up the OS partition and bootloader to a bootable ISO image. In case of a restore just boot from the iso and its back instantly. I use it extensively.

  9. Rodrigo Lira says:


  10. HugoLia says:

    Good article.

    Is there any good tool to manage LVMs?

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