Clone Core With CloneZilla
- Backing up your CORE with Clonezilla from USB thumb drive (flash drive)
This tutorial outlines a method for cloning your LinuxMCE core installation. Why would you want to do that? Well, quite simply, so when you break something you can restore back to a stable state. The method involves disk imaging using [url="http://clonezilla.org"]clonezilla[/url] to copy a snapshot of your current LinuxMCE core operating system drive.
The tutorial assumes you have your media on a separate hard drive (or even machine) to the operating system and linuxMCE software. If that is not the case then you won't be able to avoid cloning your media as well. This is not a problem, it will just take more time and space. The idea here, though, is to clone the system, not backup the media. Media can be backed up by other methods and easily restored. The system, however, cannot be backed up by other methods but would rather require a fresh installation. Hence the need to image it.
- When to image your system
This is up to you, but you should do this at least once you have a stable install with most of the media directors and devices you are going to add initially. Wait a week or two until you're happy with the way the system is running and then take an image. However other times to image would be
- Just after the basic (core/hybrid) install, prior to adding any devices / media directors. This option would allow you to fall back to a clean install should you make a mess of the device addition process
- Just prior to major changes or attempts to create new devices / install new software. This option will allow you to fall back to a stable system should your efforts wreck your system.
- How to do it
- Setup Clonezilla on USB thumb drive
This is fairly self explanatory based on the [url="http://clonezilla.org/liveusb.php"]documentation[/url] on the Clonezilla website. I used the [url=""]tuxboot[/url] option to download a tuxboot executable for my system (Fedora 17). I also downloaded the ubuntu stable version of clonezilla live (clonezilla-live-20140630-trusty-i386.iso at the time of writing). I formatted the USB thumb drive to FAT32 using Disk utilities on Fedora and gparted and mkfs.vfat to make the partion and FAT32 filesystem. I then used the tuxboot executable to make the bootable thumb drive from the downloaded ISO image above.
- Prepare SAMBA share to receive image on external network
Setup a SAMBA share on another machine on the external network. It must be on the external network as the internal network will not be available while the core is offline. I setup a share called [Img] on my desktop machine at external address 192.168.10.40.
- Boot CORE with thumb drive
This step will be BIOS dependent but in some way you need to indicate to your BIOS that you wish to boot from your USB thumb drive (which you've obviously inserted to a USB port on the core prior to powering on).
In my case the particular version of American Megatrends BIOS required me to choose between a "UEFI" thumb drive and just the drive itself (see screenshots). This had me stumped as the UEFI choice (which was the first and, I thought only choice) would start Clonezilla live fine but after you'd chosen the screen resolution, it failed with errrors ranging from [code]can't load module" ext4[/code] to [code]initramfs can't access tty job control turned off[/code] I spent a good deal of time creating new versions of the thumb drive on varying filesystem and partition types and with varying versions of clonezilla live and tuxboot before I discovered that the UEFI choice was the wrong one.
- Create Image
Here is the meat of it - the options to choose for imaging your core!