Clonezilla Work With True?


I need to image my True OS. I have it alone on a 500GB HDD. I started with a Clonezilla image, but realised it would take up 500GB of my 3TB external drive, which is already getting crowded, so I cancelled it. So, how should I proceed? how can I make the smallest possible image of True, and will Clonezilla handle it? (It seemed to be progressing fine until I cancelled it).


Does Clonezilla understand ZFS?


I have no idea. But that gives me something to research!


A question if I may.
When you say “…need to image…” exactly what do you mean? If you are talking about something for backups or you want to use an existing TrueOs install to create another install, there are other ways to do it.
It all boils down to what are you trying to accomplish.


So you want an exact clone of a 500GB hard drive, without having to use 500GB?.. If most of those 500GB are empty that means that Clonezilla doesn’t understand ZFS and is just cloning the whole drive byte for byte, probably something similar to what can be accomplished by dd’ing the drive.

as @mer has suggested we need more information. What are you trying to accomplish? Why are you trying to accomplish, etc…


I just want to make a system image of True, because the drive I have it on is 10 years old and likely to fail soon (although it has been likely to fail for several years now; it just won’t die). I usually partition drives into two partitions. But even then, my Linux systems are so small that it only takes 15 minutes to image them.

You may be right, Clonezilla may not understand ZFS. It wants to image the whole drive. I could partition this drive to be only a bit larger than True OS; then presumably it would work (image only the small True OS partition). As to restoring, that’s an unknown, I would have to wait to actually do it to see if it would work. If not, no great loss, I would just wait for the next True update to happen and reinstall. I don’t have any valuable data on True; I’m just trying to learn how to use it.


Ok, that is good information. Let me give you my opinion on setting up desktop or anything that you can put multiple drives in. Feel free to completely disregard :slight_smile:
On any given computer, what is truly important? The OS? The applications? Nope, it’s the data. Your pictures, your music, your accounting data, your emails, your tax returns.
The OS and applications, you can always reinstall. The data, often impossible to recreate.

So, if you can do multiple devices, pick something like an SSD to install TrueOS to, then a little bit of ZFS dataset magic, and you isolate your user directory and user data. Then you can get fancy and add another device and wind up with a mirror of your user data. That’s what I’ve wound up with.

Of course that doesn’t help you at the moment, but you can get an external drive, something like a WD Passport and use that to create ZFS volumes. Now what? Well, look at ZFS replication and you can do something like replicate your user datasets to the external drive (like backups but better). Then if you lose your 10yr old drive, simply buy a new one, install TrueOS on it, zfs import the external drive and then you can recover the user datasets on the new device or heck, buy a SSD for the OS, 2 other devices for user data, slap them in, install, create a mirror, then import from the external drive.

That’s what I would do, start with an external drive and start getting familiar with all the different ZFS commands you’d need, muck with replication (the LifePreserver application does this too). Benefit would be you’d learn a heck of a lot about your system and ZFS.


Thanks mer, I’ve been coming to the same conclusion lately. The one thing a system image is good for is if you have a program that is no longer made, or only works on Windows 7, and so forth. An image gets you back to when it worked on the OS it worked on.

This gives me some things to work on, namely the ZFS file system, a complete mystery to me.


Clonezilla will back up the ZFS “partition” however the filesystem is not understood. This means that even though there was 20GB data inside the ZFS ‘tank’, Clonezilla was backing up all 500GB of the HDD. Typically Clonezilla would only backup the data portion.

I would describe this like a ‘dd’ copy. It’ll get you out of trouble provided you have the time and storage space.


Ah, that settles it then. Thank you atomsett. I’m not going to worry about it. However…
A related question: What if I want to use True in a dual-boot setup? For example, right now I have Win 7 and Linux Lite on a 500GB HDD. Can I install True on the Linux partition, replacing Linux Lite? (I have just installed LL 4.0 on another drive so I can delete LL 3.8). Then True will be “safe” from the danger of being on a bad drive that may fail any time.