I need an open source disk imaging application (something like Ghost or Acronis). Which one would you suggest?
I like GParted and CloneZilla. GParted is my favorite for single-use, CloneZilla's best when you need to blast images out across the network.
See also, this question: Using DD for disk cloning
1The advantage of dd is that is available on almost every linux environment, including that old Ubuntu DVD you got in a magazine once. If you learn how to use the dd + netcat + gzip combo you'll have a very flexible tool in your mental toolbox for network imaging May 29, 2009 at 15:45
My personal choice is PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost) as I've used it considerably at work and at home, with much success. We've got base images for our most common machine models. 1.5 - 2 Hour builds down to 25-30mins depending on the machine.
So far I've only tried backing up to another partition or a USB drive, though it does support backing up to a network drive.
- g4u is more of a standalone system for single (or just a few) machines.
- FOG is really a complete replacement for a ghost system and is really intended for large environments.
I've heard good things about FOG as a Ghost alternative. No personal experience to back that up, however, as I used a custom PXE solution before FOG was available.
I use dd. =D
Designed more for backups than cloning, but mondo is pretty good.
It creates bootable ISO's of your hard drive, from which you can easily restore to a different machine.
it is not opensource but in a pinch, maxblast is very good.
It is definitively not "open source", but maybe still good enough and has an API: Imagex / WIM files from the Windows Vista AIK toolkit. With that free download you get Windows PE and the imagex command line tool. It will make a file based image of your ntfs drive into a WIM-file which is single instance, compressed and stores everything you need (ACLs, owner, streams) and only skips pagefile if you want.
It's very easy to use, e.g. over a mounted network share!