Partclone is a free and open source command-line software implemented in C and designed from the offset as an alternative to the Partition Image (also known as partimage) program, but for GNU/Linux systems.
This tool can be used by system administrators or advanced users to manually clone disk partitions, as well as to backup and restore the filesystem of a Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows or ESX system. It uses the e2fslibs library for higher compatibility with existing filesystems.
Features at a glance
Key features include support for a wide range of filesystems (see the next section for details), support for backing up and restoring Linux, BSD, Apple, Windows and ESX filesystems, as well as an easy-to-use and intuitive CLI interface based on the Ncurses library.
Supported file systems
While on GNU/Linux systems, Partclone supports the EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, JFS, ReiserFS and Reiser4 filesystem, on Microsoft Windows supports the FAT and NTFS filesystems, on Mac OS X supports the HFS+ filesystem, on FreeBSD supports the UFS2 filesystem, and on the ESX VMware server supports the VMFS (version 0.2.3 or later) filesystem.
First of all, we should mention that Partclone comprises of several commands, such as partclone.imager, partclone.restore, partclone.dd, partclone.chkimg, partclone.info and partclone.ntfsfixboot.
Each one comes with its own command-line options, so you will have to run them one by one with the ‘--help’ string and see what options are available. Comprehensive documentation about how to use Partclone can be found on the man page or the project’s website.
Under the hood and availability
As mentioned, the software is written entirely in the C programming language. It is distributed as a native installer for 32-bit (i386) Debian/Ubuntu-based operating system, as well as a universal sources archive that can be installed on any GNU/Linux system, supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit instruction set architectures.