Clone & Backup your Linux system !


clonesys is a Shell script that can be used to get an image of running Linux boxes.

The image can then be burned on CD/DVD. This CD/DVD is bootable and can be used to restore the system as well as to install new similar boxes.

clonesys *IS NOT* a backup tool: it should not be used to backup users data, it is more similar to other tools such as MkCdRec, Mondo Rescue, Timo's Rescue CD, etc...

 Main Features

  • Works with Linux kernel 2.4 and 2.6 (v1.2.0)
  • Handles the standard (old) /dev structure, devfs and udev (v1.2.0)
  • Supports software RAID built with raidtools or mdadm (v1.2.0)
  • Supports LVM 1 & 2 and handles the metadata (v1.2.2)
  • Supports ext2/3, JFS (v1.3.0), ReiserFS (v1.3.0) and FAT/DOS filesystems
  • Supports Boot Loader on both MBR and Boot Partition (v1.2.2)
  • Backups and restores Extended Attributes and ACLs (v1.2.0)
  • Recreates the filesystems with the same options if they are not the default ones
  • Allow images span on multiple CD/DVD (v1.2.0)
  • Include a 'step by step' restoration to trace the process
  • Allow a disk mapping at restoration time to support different hardware configuration
    (for example: the image took a snapshot of /dev/hda but you can restore it on /dev/sdb) (v1.2.1)
  • Allow restoration on a disk which geometry differ from the orginal one
  • Tested with RedHat Linux 9/ES3/ES4, Mandrake 10.x, Fedora Core 3/4, SuSE 9.x

 Features not yet implemented

  • Support for xfs filesystems
  • Options 'size' and 'device' of ext3 filesystems not handled
  • Option 'stride' (RAID stripe) of ext2 not handled

If you wish to use clonesys but cannot because of a missing functionnality, just ask for it. I will try to implement it ASAP.


VersionsArchiveMD5 checksum
1.4.0 (recommended) clonesys-1.4.0.tgz 678c4838add89b818478ec46172d1d38
1.3.0 clonesys-1.3.0.tgz 7e5928b81f59ae0fc1631830a3c5afbe
1.2.5 clonesys-1.2.5.tgz 9980ec194158b37961776be5d857d510
1.2.4a clonesys-1.2.4a.tgz 35fbf96e0ce932472e33fd369c660404
1.2.4 clonesys-1.2.4.tgz eca4efa0bee02ae76f8c7200ecbc8c53 clonesys- f73963fe0cb7ea950e0c4ea560248931
1.2.3 clonesys-1.2.3.tgz b56e3b16c210bf5c2d4ddb147b4d68c0 clonesys- a78753d759aac7ac45f821a7f8f409a2 clonesys- 7a35061fcf45c010bb992b62dd4a58e4
1.2.2 clonesys-1.2.2.tar.gz b95a6fbc63de9369cebfcda1021785b5
1.2.1 clonesys-1.2.1.tar.gz 477ca6c738710fc5e292aa547f6ffc3d
1.2.0 clonesys-1.2.0.tar.gz 65d800068fa4bf462d14e22b62b6ef65
1.1.0 clonesys-1.1.0.tar.gz 242e791c1a18c4c22a62d06bacf2e956

 Technical Details

Version: 1.1.0
Date : 12 Nov 2004
Author : Jerome Delamarche (


Clonesys is a Shell script that can be used to create an ISO image
of your Linux system. It is not another tool that backup users
files but a tool that can recreate "ex nihilo" a similar system
on another hardware.

It could be compared with MKCdRec, Timo's Rescue or Mondo Rescue
tools. These tools are probably more powerful or offer a flashier
interface but they are often too complex to use.

Clonesys has bee designed to be as easy to use as possible.
It should be a fast solution for most Linux boxes.

What changed with the 1.0.1 version ? (see the ChangeLog)

Clonesys now supports the linux kernel 2.6 and the devfs filesystem.
It also uses the real commands and libraries and the cloned system to create the image (in fact, this is mandatory in oder to load the kernel modules in all cases)
Clonesys handles the symbolic links correctly, for the commands as well as for the device names.

B-Supported Systems:

Linux Kernel 2.4.x, 2.6.x
Support for devfs File systems: ext2/ext3/JFS/ReiserFS/Dos/LVM/Raid
CD-R Writer (optional)
Lilo and GRUB
Tested on both RedHat and Mandrake (SuSE soon, when it works under VMWare !)

C-How to use this script ?

1-Check the configuration

The file "config.ini" contains some global variables that impact
the tool behaviour. Each parameter is commented, important ones
are flagged with a <CHECK> tag.

The tool also builds an archive of the system files. The files
that must be included in this archive must be listed in the
"backup.ini" file. See "backup.ini" file for the directives
format. Directives can include or exclude files and/or directories.
Please note that the file exclusion process can be time consuming
when building the archive.

If some specific modules must be loaded at boot time (a non-standard SCSI driver, for example), we can add them to the optional "moremodules.list" file.

At last, if your system contains LVM and/or RAID partitions which
are not described in the /etc/fstab file, you must describe them
in the "fs.ini" configuration file.

2-Run the cloning script

Launch the "" script to create the ISO image.
According to the parameters in "config.ini", the ISO image can be
burned on a CD-RW.

3-Test the CD

The created CD is a bootable CD. It can be used to recreate
a new Linux Box that has the same characteristics as the original


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