Clonezilla: Open Source Acronis?

I love Acronis Backup, and I have used it for years, but this is an Open Source alternative. Check out this information from their web site!

“Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. Three types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live, Clonezilla lite server, and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla lite server or SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk. This increases the clone efficiency. With some high-end hardware in a 42-node cluster, a multicast restoring at rate 8 GB/min was reported.


  • Many File systems are supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs and nilfs2 of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, (5) minix of Minix, and (6) VMFS3 and VMFS5 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Minix, VMWare ESX and Chrome OS/Chromium OS, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored by Partclone. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Boot loader, including grub (version 1 and version 2) and syslinux, could be reinstalled.
  • Both MBR and GPT partition formats of hard drive are supported. Clonezilla live also can be booted on a BIOS or uEFI machine.
  • Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
  • One image restoring to multiple local devices is supported.
  • Image could be encrypted. This is done with ecryptfs, a POSIX-compliant enterprise cryptographic stacked filesystem.
  • Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massive clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
  • Bittorrent (BT) is supported in Clonezilla lite server, which is suitable for massive deployment. The job for BT mode is done by Ezio.
  • The image file can be on local disk, ssh server, samba server, NFS server or WebDAV server.
  • AES-256 encryption could be used to secures data access, storage and transfer.
  • Based on Partclone (default), Partimage (optional), ntfsclone (optional), or dd to image or clone a partition. However, Clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
  • By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.

Minimum System Requirements for Clonezilla live:

  • X86 or x86-64 processor
  • 196 MB of system memory (RAM)
  • Boot device, e.g. CD/DVD Drive, USB port, PXE, or hard drive”

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Google Has a New Chromecast for 2020

ChromecastThe new Google Chromecast for 2020 has some great new features:

  • It Debuts Google TV
  • Supports Android TV apps
  • 4K HDR 60fps, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos
  • Google Assistant built-in

I am hoping that when you plug it in to your TV’s USB port for power, it doesn’t go into unreachable mode like the old one! Here’s hoping! The remote has an on/off button, but that seems to turn your SmartTV on and off via HDMI (if your TV supports that.) I am hoping there will be a way to “wake it up” better than my current version.

There is no support for Google’s On-Line Gaming through the web app, called “Stadia,” but support is supposed to be be added in the future, say about the 2021 timeframe.

It sells from about $49.99 at Best Buy, Walmart, etc. and be available in three colors: “snow,” “sunrise,” and “sky.” Google says that it is manufactured from 49% recycled plastics, for all you tree huggers out there!

The Death of FTP?

FTPI have long used (and, actually, still use) FTP as a means to update websites as a webmaster, but the day of FTP may soon be behind us!

Tedium – By: Ernie Smith – “Here’s a small piece of news you may have missed while you were trying to rebuild your entire life to fit inside your tiny apartment at the beginning of the COVID crisis: Because of the way that the virus shook up just about everything, Google skipped the release of Chrome version 82. Who cares, you think? Well, users of FTP, or the File Transfer Protocol. During the pandemic, Google delayed its plan to kill FTP, and now that things have settled to some degree, Google recently announced that it is going back for the kill with Chrome version 86, which deprecates the support once again, and will kill it for good in Chrome 88. (Mozilla announced similar plans for Firefox, citing security reasons and the age of the underlying code.) It is one of the oldest protocols the mainstream internet supports—it turns 50 next year—but those mainstream applications are about to leave it behind. Today’s Tedium talks about history of FTP, the networking protocol that has held on longer than pretty much any other.


The year that Abhay Bhushan, a masters student at MIT who was born in India, first developed the File Transfer Protocol. Coming two years after telnet, FTP was one of the first examples of a working application suite built for what was then known as ARPANET, predating email, Usenet, and even the TCP/IP stack. Like telnet, FTP still has a few uses, but has lost prominence on the modern internet largely because of security concerns, with encrypted alternatives taking its place—in the case of FTP, SFTP, a file transfer protocol that operates over the Secure Shell protocol (SSH), the protocol that has largely replaced telnet.

FTP is so old it predates email—and at the beginning, actually played the role of an email client
Of the many application-level programs built for the early ARPANET, it perhaps isn’t surprising that FTP is the one that stood above them all to find a path to the modern day.

The reason for that comes down to its basic functionality. It’s essentially a utility that facilitates data transfer between hosts, but the secret to its success is that it flattened the ground to a degree between these hosts. As Bhushan describes in his requests for comment paper, the biggest challenge of using telnet at the time was that every host was a little different.

‘Differences in terminal characteristics are handled by host system programs, in accordance with standard protocols,’ he explained, citing both telnet and the remote job entry protocol of the era. ‘You, however, have to know the different conventions of remote systems, in order to use them.'”

For the rest of this interesting article, check out Tedium at this link: FTP Fadeout

Will Linux Soon Win the Desktop Battle?

Some Linux versions are looking more and more like Windows these days. See my last Netcast for some examples, but THAT is nor what I mean when I say that Linux may yet win the desktop.

Eric Steven Raymond (born December 4, 1957,) often referred to as “ESR,” is an American software developer, Open Source software advocate, and author of the controversial 1997 essay and 1999 book “The Cathedral and the Bazaar.” Interestingly, he is also a member of the Libertarian Party and is a gun rights advocate. In a September 25th Blog post he says:

“The two most intriguing developments in the recent evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system are Windows System for Linux (WSL) and the porting of their Microsoft Edge browser to Ubuntu.

ESR at Linucon 2004

For those of you not keeping up, WSL allows unmodified Linux binaries to run under Windows 10. No emulation, no shim layer, they just load and go.

Microsoft developers are now landing features in the Linux kernel to improve WSL. And that points in a fascinating technical direction. To understand why, we need to notice how Microsoft’s revenue stream has changed since the launch of its cloud service in 2010.

Ten years later, Azure makes Microsoft most of its money. The Windows monopoly has become a sideshow, with sales of conventional desktop PCs (the only market it dominates) declining. Accordingly, the return on investment of spending on Windows development is falling. As PC volume sales continue to fall off , it’s inevitably going to stop being a profit center and turn into a drag on the business.

Looked at from the point of view of cold-blooded profit maximization, this means continuing Windows development is a thing Microsoft would prefer not to be doing. Instead, they’d do better putting more capital investment into Azure – which is widely rumored to be running more Linux instances than Windows these days.”

He speculates that one day, maybe even soon, Microsoft will give in to full Open Source support, then make our desktop Windows essentially a specialized distribution of Linux! It would have a “WINE-like” compatibility layer for older Windows programs, but would essentially be Linux under the hood!

A provocative idea, but with their biggest money maker, Azure, already running on Linux, way not? They need their Azure systems to stay up at 99.99999% and serve out systems securely, which is why Microsoft, old time Linux haters, now, for the most part, run Azure on Linux in their data centers! It is simply in their best interest! Will they now port everything in that direction? Maybe so, we’ll see!

If so, we will have finally won the Linux vs. Windows battle, without a shot being fired!

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Version

UbuntuBack in April (the 23rd, in fact) Ubuntu released version 20.04 LTS. And, I have finished updating all my Ubuntu Linux servers (I have three) to the latest version. So, I have five years of “Long Term Support” (that’s what LTS stands for) ahead of me. I upgraded one from version 18, and two from version 19 to the latest version. It was pretty simple and easy. No hiccups! So, what’s new, you ask? Well some of this does not apply to me, because I am running the non-GUI server version, but here are just some of the highlights:

  • Faster boot times
  • Some GUI improvements
  • Easier method to go to a “dark mode” on the GUI (one button flip)
  • Fully Snap’ped Software Center (Bad if you read the earlier articles, I know), but there are 6,000 applications in the Snapcraft Linux App Store
  • Uses the Linux 5.4 kernel version
  • Includes Secure Boot to protect against low level attacks and rootkits
  • WireGuard® is a new, simplified VPN with modern cryptography defaults
  • Disappointing point, you still can’t drop files from the file manager to the desktop, oh well.

Linux Mint 20 Will Drop the Ubuntu Snap Store!

Linux MintRemember, I said that Linux folk don’t care for Snap? Well, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu Linux, BUT they are stripping all of Snap out of the new Linux Mint version 20. The beta release is out now. And, they are “protecting you” from Snap! To be fair, they are responding to the user base!

Do you want to remove Snap from your already installed system? Do this:

First check if you have any snaps installed. If you do you should write them down and try installing them with apt.

snap list
No snaps are installed yet. Try ‘snap install hello-world’.

Now, you’re ready to remove snapd

sudo apt remove –purge snapd gnome-software-plugin-snap

Once it’s removed you can block it from being reinstalled via apt:

sudo cat << EOF > /etc/apt/preferences.d/snapd
Package: snapd
Pin: origin *
Pin-Priority: -1

You are now safe from being a Snap user! Too strong? OK, maybe so!

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