Running Clonezilla Server Edition on a Virtual Machine

  • kaplan71

    kaplan71 - 2015-04-08

    Hello --

    We are planning on deploying the server edition as part of our disaster recovery solution, and one of my colleagues wanted to know if it can be done on a virtual machine.

    Has anyone done such a deployment? If so, what would you recommend for hardware specifications on the host system, assuming there will be other virtual machines running, and what issues should I be aware of before proceeding with this course of action?


  • Steven Shiau

    Steven Shiau - 2015-04-12

    Sure. You can run Clonezilla SE on virtual machine. Just remember to use the bridge mode for the network cards.
    Basically if it's powerful, then you do not have to worry.
    Anyway, just test it and you should be able to know the efficiency.


  • Pretzel

    Pretzel - 2015-05-07

    Hello Kaplan (and a hello to Steven, too.)

    We're running a customized Clonezilla SE (DRBL) ISO on a ProxMox/RedHat virtual cluster where I work.

    In my experience, you'll want a minimum of 2 cores and at least 10GB of RAM. (When using only 8GB of RAM, I was getting segmentation faults when trying to image more than 30 machines using multicast.)

    Also, make sure to use the VirtIO type network devices. The emulated NICs (like Realtek and Intel E1000) are much slower.

  • Steven Shiau

    Steven Shiau - 2015-05-10

    Great! Thanks for sharing those valuable experience.


  • Peter Kuykendall

    For testing purposes I'm running a VirtualBox VM with Clonezilla SE installed on Ubuntu Server 12.04.04 (CLI only). The VM has only 256 MB RAM (!!!!) and an 8 GB virtual hard drive. This is sufficient to clone single machines (real or virtual) using unicast. I have not tried multicast nor multiple machines.

    I used this setup to test various versions of Clonezilla Live as the OS for the PXE client machines. This was to characterize a problem where old machines lacking PAE support in the CPU won't boot to the "Alternative" (Ubuntu based) releases, because Ubuntu broke support for them. Using this dual VM setup (1 VM for the server, 1 for the client), I was able to work with Steven and discover that the Debian based "Testing" 586 ISO (clonezilla-live-2.4.2-4-i586.iso) works, as its kernel does not demand PAE support.

    I find that being able to a complete Clonezilla environment in virtual space, including a virtual server, virtual client(s), and virtual network, is a very easy and efficient way to test and debug various configurations.

    Thanks - Pete

    Last edit: Peter Kuykendall 2015-05-30
  • Steven Shiau

    Steven Shiau - 2015-05-30

    Hi Pete,
    Thanks for sharing that.
    I did not know with 256 MB RAM it works well to run a Clonezilla SE server. Amazing.
    Back to 3 years ago, actually we thought about having a "network appliance" to run such a Clonezilla SE service. Users only have to buy such a appliance, hook on the NAS server, and all set. We did not realize such an idea since there is no any vendor here has interest about this.
    Anyway, just to share the idea we had which is somehow slightly related to your case.


  • Peter Kuykendall

    I find that really old laptops make ideal Clonezilla servers. They usually have very little RAM and tiny hard drives (sometimes only 13 GB!) and so are not very useful for modern OS and web browsers.

    They typically have only 100 Mbps Ethernet support, but that's not a problem for us. We are restoring a Linux image via unicast to one machine at a time. The image is about 5 GB compressed, and it restores that in about 5 minutes. That's fast enough for our purposes.

    Being able to use a free (otherwise obsolete) old laptop which consumes very little power as a server appliance is very handy.

    Thanks for writing and maintaining such a great suite of software!

  • Ng YJ

    Ng YJ - 2016-12-08

    Hi Steven,

    I have installed clonezilla server on VMware player. i have set it up and bridged the vmware network adapter to the computer physical ethernet ports. but the connected clients does not seems to received any ip address from DHCP Server. can you please advise where could have gone wrong?

    Many thanks!

  • Steven Shiau

    Steven Shiau - 2016-12-11

    Maybe you can find some clues in the log files on server? like /var/log/messages or /var/log/syslog.



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