Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

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Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#1 Post by smallhagrid » Tue May 29, 2018 6:35 pm

Hi Folks.
Without getting overly specific, from years of doing it I know there are a bunch of really super easy & quick tools to clone that 'other' OS basically in a one-and-done manner. (i.e.: 'Drive Snapshot', etc...)

Having "graduated" into a happier time of Linux (Ubuntu Mate) use, I have tried to narrow down the choices to some sort of similar solution that is quick, easy & GUI based rather than a whole bunch of strung out DD commands via the CLI.

Yes, there are GUIs for DD, and I may end up just using one of those, but I am very much hoping that someone who knows more than myself will point me to something even better ??

For a while there was cloning heaven to be had via 'Redo Backup' - but it now seems abandoned & I've no idea if it will handle anything newer than 12.04 correctly.

The back-story here for anyone who has read this far (Thanks !!):
After a very busy 20+ year career as an independent consultant, aging & illness forced me to mostly retire.
For a while now I have kept serving the needs of just a few hangers-on that became good friends during those other times.
Of course all of them have heard of the wonders of using Linux from me over time & naturally became curious.

That handful of folks have (all except 1) since become delighted Linux users.

Now, the time has arrived for several of them to upgrade a bit & of course that means Ubuntu Mate 18.04 is the basis for all.

Given that we're all also great fans of the really minimal & clean way that win2k pro operated, I do a number of small tweaks to sort of minimalize that already very clean OS - always the same tweaks, also:
Given that all of our small 'group' use about the same apps for emailing, browsing, making some docs now & then, viewing photos, etc. and zero gaming or online chatting of any sort - I remove the apps that will just sit there unused - again - all the same for the lot of us.

No worries about Linux waking up & struggling with driver issues as the h/w we use is not unusual or fancy - also no desire for raging hot speed as it is not needed as much as simplicity & reliability are preferred.
(The setup I make has root, home & swap partitions as I've found that is all which we need.)

The starting point for me is getting this all set up this way on a single PC - which is already about 98% done.
My next desire is to get it sort of 'canned' - then to just blast it onto the other couple of PCs without having to fix GRUB2 as I've had to do in the past.

Hopefully...as I said before - someone else here will have some helpful pointers allowing me to accomplish these things more quickly & easily without having to repeat the same actions over & over ?!?

Thanks for any helpful replies.

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Re: Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#2 Post by Craunch » Tue May 29, 2018 11:35 pm

Caveat: I've not had to do this myself, so my suggestions are based on theory rather than practice.

I know that you are using Ubuntu, but the Arch Linux wiki can often be very helpful - in this case its Disk Cloning page https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Disk_cloning lists several possibilities.

I would probably try using Clonezilla or FSarchiver if I had to do the job. The System Rescue CD mentioned towards the end of the FSarchiver text might also be of use - it's by the same people as FSarchiver.

Good luck with your endeavour, and kudos to you for spreading Linux through the world :D

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Re: Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#3 Post by smallhagrid » Tue May 29, 2018 11:47 pm

Thanks for the helpful pointer Craunch !!

In the time between my OP & now, a friend suggested I look at the free version of Macrium - so I'm going to try that after getting some sleep (it's going on 4AM here...).

I despise Clonezilla - and not just because of its rotten GUI; it has screwed up on me before & I won't ever trust it again.

This search is not new for me - it began after I tried using Redo on a newer version of Ubuntu & it failed.
I have a whole list of 'possibles' - but have been unwilling to try each one at a time because it might not show right away if/when they'd screwed up like Clonezilla did - and all the folks I'm helping live at least a 90 minute drive from me so I want things to be right to start with.

What I'd really love would be for a true, working remastering utility to show up like Remastersys was; Respin supposedly was an up and coming version of that - but also seems abandoned now.

OK - crash time for me - Thanks Again !!

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Re: Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#4 Post by Midas » Wed May 30, 2018 2:39 am

Vouching for the devil here: a liveCD/USB with clonezilla (https://clonezilla.org/) has done it for me in the past in fairly complicated setups -- though I'm in no way in as deep as you appear to be with the Lin UX... :mrgreen:

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Re: Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#5 Post by __philippe » Wed May 30, 2018 4:18 am

Nothing close to a full Linux clone distro, granted, however the following tiny "Unix for Windows" ports might be of passing interest all the same:

busybox-w32  "Unix-utilities in a single EXE"
"over 120 GNU Unix-like win-32 port discrete utilities"

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Re: Easiest & Quickest tool to clone Linux ??

#6 Post by smallhagrid » Wed May 30, 2018 3:18 pm

I just learned of 'MX Snapshot' - part of 'MX Tools' that comes with MX Linux.

https://technophobeconfessions.wordpres ... untu-risk/

https://mxlinux.org/wiki/help-files/hel ... o-snapshot

Since it has a .DEB here:

And since MX can be run live from USB, I wonder if it is generic or distro specific ??

Did some searching without finding that info - but would love it if such a tool worked for Ubuntu Mate !!

Thanks Again Folks - your replies here are ALL very appreciated !!

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