Clonezilla Server Edition Installation on Ubuntu


The tutorial describes installation steps for Clonezilla Server Edition (SE) on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS using a Bash script. Clonezilla is OpenSource Cloning System (OCS) and it is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program . It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (server edition).

Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment because it can clone many computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk. It decreases time and saves the hard disk space and increases the clone efficiency.

Clonezilla is a part of DRBL (Diskless Remote Boot in Linux) which provides a diskless environment for client machines. Therefore we need to install and configure DRBL server first. I created DRBL deployment script that helps you to install DRBL and configure server on Ubuntu with a single Ethernet card. You have to provide only the name of Ethernet interface and the script creates virtual interface for you based on your physical interface. It also downloads a DRBL project public key, download and install drbl package from repository. The script starts interactive Bash and Perl scripts that come with drbl package.  It starts them in this order:

  • drblsrv  - prepares files for PXE client and generates PXE menu
  • drblpush - configures DNS, clients' hostname, Ethernet card, collects MAC addresses of clients, configures and starts DHCP server, diskless services and Clonezilla mode, PXE password, grephical/text boot menu, NAT services for clients and firewall rules
  • dcs - DRBL utility to switch the mode for clients

Here is a version of packages installed with DRBL.

Deploying DRBL Server

1. Starting Script
The script must be started with root privileges. Once you login to root account with sudo su command, assign execute privileges to the script.

$ sudo su
# chmod +x ./
# ./

Now enter the name of Ethernet interface which is connected to the Internet, e.g. eth0. The script creates a new virtual interface adding suffix 100 to the name of your Ethernet interface e.g. eth0:100. It also configures IP address on your virtual interface. If you want to configure different suffix or IP address/mask on the virtual interface, just change a value of variables ipaddress, mask and suffix in the script. The script installs a package drbl from repository drbl testing.

Note: The script requires a working connection to the Internet in order to install DRBL server. The script sets only an IP address and a mask on the virtual  interface. It is your job to configure a correct IP address/mask on the physical interface. You also need to configure default route and add DNS server.  Here are my network settings /etc/network/interfaces.

2. DRBL Server Installation
The scripts automatically starts a script drblsrv with a parameter -i . The script drbl is responsible for installation of DRBL server.  Installation is interactive so you must provide answers for questions - either y or n. If the letter is capital, it is a default choice and you can press Enter or type particular letter to select this choice.

2.1 Installation of Network Images


Picture 1 - Installation of Boot Images via Network

We do not need any boot images so type N.

2.2 Serial Console Output


Picture 2 - Serial Console Output on Client Computer

We do not want to use the serial console output on the client computers so type N.

2.3 Operating System Upgrade


Picture 3 - Operating System Upgrade

We do not want to upgrade our OS  - Ubuntu 16.04.1 so type N.

2.4 Selection of Kernel Image


Picture 4 - Selecting Kernel Image for Clients

Choose option 1 - Ubuntu kernel from DRBL server.

3. Configure Clonezilla
The scripts automatically starts a script drblpush with a parameter -i (interactive mode).

3.1 DNS Domain


Picture 5 - DNS Domain

Press Enter key to configure default domain.

3.2 NISP/YP Domain


Picture 6 - NISP/YP Domain

Again, press Enter key to configure default penguinzilla domain name.

3.3 Client Hostname Prefix


Picture 7 - Client Hostname

We want our client to keep default  hostname prefix  so press Enter.

3.4 Ethernet Port


Picture 8 - Ethernet Port

In this menu we select a network interface that is connected to the Internet (not used for DRBL connection). In our case it is enp0s3 port. Press Enter to choose a default option enp0s3.

3.5 Collecting MAC Addresses of Clients


Picture 9 - Collecting MAC Addresses of Clients

We do not want to assign the same IP addresses to the clients from DHCP server thus we do not need to collect MAC addresses of the clients. Type N or just press Enter.

3.6 Same IP address for Clients


Picture 10 - Same IP address for Clients

Press Enter to reject the offer to configure the same IP addresses for clients.

3.7 DHCP Server


Picture 11 - DHCP Server

Now we configure a DHCP server running on the interface enp0s3:100 and providing IP addresses for clients. Enter an initial IP address from the range and the number of clients in your network. Then just confirm the DHCP range with Enter key or type Y.

3.8 Diskless Linux Services


Picture 12 - Diskless Linux Service

We do not need to provide diskless Linux service to clients so type option 2.

3.9 Clonezilla Modes


Picture 13 - Clonezilla Modes

Type 0 to configure full Clonezilla mode.

3.10 Directory for Storing Images


Picture 14 - Directory for Saving Saved Images

Press Enter to configure a default directory /home/partimg/ for storing saved images.

3.11 PXE Linux Password for Clients


Picture 15 - PXE Linux Password for Clients

Type y if you want to configure a password for clients. The chosen password can be changed or disabled anytime by drbl-pxelinux-passwd utility.

3.12 Graphical Background for PXE Menu


Picture 16 - Graphical Background for PXE Menu

Type y if you want to boot your clients with graphical PXE Linux menu.

3.13 NAT Services for Clients


Picture 17 - NAT Services for Clients

We do not need to provide Internet to clients so type n.

3.14 Firewall Rules


Picture 18 - Changing Firewall Rules

Press Enter or type y to let DRBL server to change firewall rules.

4. Start Clonezilla Server
The scripts automatically starts a script dcs which starts Clonezilla.

4.1 Client Selection


Picture 19 - Selecting Clients

We can either select all clients or an individual client based on its IP or MAC address. Select the first option - All .

4.2 Start Clonezilla Mode


Picture 20 - Starting Clonezilla Mode

Select an option clonezilla-start to start clonezilla mode.

4.3 Beginner Mode


Picture 21 - Beginner Mode

Select an option Beginner which accepts the default options.

4.4 Select-in-Client Clonezilla Mode


Picture 22 - Select-in-Client Clonezilla Mode

Select an option select-in-client. This option allows you to select either to restore or save the image on client.

4.5 Clonezilla Advanced Extra Parameters


Picture 23 - Clonezilla Advanced Extra Parameters

Select an option -y1 default Clonezilla.

4.6 Shutdown Clients


Picture 24 - Shutdown Clients When Cloning is Finished

Select an option -p poweroff. Clients automatically power off once cloning is finished. When dcs script finishes, you can see the following command in your terminal window.

drbl-ocs -b -l en_US.UTF-8 -y1 -p poweroff select_in_client

-b - run program in batch mode, i.e without any prompt
-l - language en-US.UTF-8
-y1 - clonezilla server as restore server
-p - shutdown client when cloning/restoring finishes
select_in_client - client chooses either to clone or restore

You can put the command inside the script /etc/init/clone.conf to start Clonezilla automatically after boot. To clone clients using multicast in order to speed up cloning process, use the following command.

drbl-ocs -b -g auto -e1 auto -e2 -x -r -j2 -sc0 -p poweroff --time-to-wait 30 -l en_US.UTF-8 startdisk multicast_restore core_linux sda

All options are explained here.

5. Troubleshooting

Here are the problems I noticed during writing the tutorial.

5.1 Client Does Not Get IP Address

Check if DHCP service is running with the command:

$ ps -ef | grep dhcpd | grep -v grep


Picture 25 - Checking DHCP Service

If you cannot see the output above, DHCP service is not running. Check the service status with the command:

$ systemctl status isc-dhcp-server


Picture 26 - DHCP Service Disabled and Not Active

We can see that DHCP service is disabled and not active. We can enable it with the command:

$ systemctl enable isc-dhcp-server


Picture 27 - DHCP Service Enabled But Not Active

DHCP service is enabled but not active. Activate the service with the command:

$ systemctl start isc-dhcp-server


Picture 28 - DHCP Service Enabled and Active

You can check DHCP messages in /var/log/syslog file.


Picture 29 - Obtaining IP Address for Client

Obtaining IP address for client with a MAC address 09:00:27:93:43:bb via the interface enp0s3.



34 thoughts on “Clonezilla Server Edition Installation on Ubuntu

  1. can't get the script to run. I get bash: ./ /bin/bash^M: bad interpreter: no such file or directory. what's up???

  2. I got an error that the public key wasn't found, so I had to run apt-key list and record the actual value of the key, and put that in the script file. Just a note in case anyone else runs into this.

  3. Looking forward to try your script tonight. Have used several hours to try to get this going, but it fails everytime. I must have left something out.

    I have two questions for you, before I start all over again tonight:

    my ethernet card is called enp0s2. On promt, am I going to write enp0s2 then, or eth0?

    I have used Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop, should I try to use server edition instead?

  4. We have now tried your script. With cable on ethernet (enp0s25) to a switch which is connected to the internet. When we are going to boot the clients, we want to connect them to the same switch.

    We can't start the dhcp-server. /var/log/syslog says: a lot, including:

    After sudo systemctl status isc-dhcp-server
    we get this:

    We have followed your howto and made the choices suggested by you.

  5. I'm doing this at work, with a domain controller, dhcp-server and name-server. I don't understand that it is possible to connect the clonezilla server with dhcp-server running to the same network as the excisting dhcp-servers. Won't they interfere and disturb each other?

    The way I found nameserver and gateway was to ifconfig before we startet your script, then I found ip-adresse and default gateway. I used the ip-adresse for default gateway both as name-server and default gateway in network/interfaces. My network/interfaces is similar to yours, except for the adresses.

  6. It worked when I installed Ubuntu 16.04 server edition and ran your script. Didn't work with Ubuntu Desktop. That means something probably went wrong in setting up dhcp-server, because it didn't listen and didn't offer any adresses.

  7. Hi, thanks for this great script. I have tried it on ubuntu 16.06 and it failed. Then I installed this on ubuntu 14.04 and everything worked fine until I rebooted the PC. After the reboot I can start the Clonezilla from the terminal with the command of: drbl-ocs -b -l en_US.UTF-8 -y1 -p true select_in_client, but when try to boot a client from pxe it times out. The client gets correct ip address, but then times out and boots to windows as normal. Can you please advise what is wrong? Thank You

  8. Is it necessary to preinstall DNS and DHCP before running the script? And what if I need to install XAMPP?

  9. Hi Radovan,

    Wondering if you have a solution, I'm using Clonezilla SE and when I use the script:

    drbl-ocs -b -l en_US.UTF-8 -y1 -p poweroff select_in_client

    When the client finishes creating/restoring an image it doesn't power off. It gets stuck at a command prompt user@yakkety and I have to run sudo poweroff to get it to shut down.

    Any ideas?

  10. hie. i am following your tutorial. um using Ubuntu 16.04. i did everything from the onset and everything was going on perfectly. Now i reached a stage in your trouble shooting where my client machines are not picking the Correct IP address range. i did run the dhcp status and its not running. Now when i try to run the enable dhcp command the result is failed to execute operation : No such file or directory. i am stuck now......need your help

  11. samba@samba-Mecer:~$ ps -ef | grep dhcpd | grep -v grep
    samba@samba-Mecer:~$ systemctl | status isc-dhcp-server
    status: Unknown job: isc-dhcp-server
    samba@samba-Mecer:~$ sudo systemctl | status isc-dhcp-server
    status: Unknown job: isc-dhcp-server
    [sudo] password for samba:
    Sorry, try again.
    [sudo] password for samba:
    Sorry, try again.
    [sudo] password for samba:
    samba@samba-Mecer:~$ sudo systemctl | start isc-dhcp-server
    start: Unknown job: isc-dhcp-server
    samba@samba-Mecer:~$ sudo systemctl | enable isc-dhcp-server
    bash: enable: isc-dhcp-server: not a shell builtin

  12. ok thanks Radovan.... i did correct, its picking addresses now but here is another problem. when i reboot my client machines and select boot from network in bios. it times out and goes straight into run windows normally. do you have any ideas on how to resolve that one

    • Is there any other DHCP server running in your network except the one that is running on Clonezilla server? If yes, the client could pickup the IP from that DHCP and it does do not continue with booting from the network.
      Have you started Clonezilla server? It should be started by my script as the last step but if you reboot your machine you have to start Clonzeilla server by yourself (unless you put dtrbl-ocs command inside /etc/init/clone.conf). It it is your case, run dcs command and configure Clonezilla server as it is shown in part 4 of the tutorial.

  13. I would like to run the script, but my knowledge is lacking. Please help me run it. I am trying to revive the server I had set up (running 12.04) which crashed and burned. No longer able to remember how to set it up, so I am looking to use this script. I have the script saved and extracted to my downloads directory. What to do know, if you please?

  14. Answered my first question: cd directory, dummy. I am installing it right now. The next question, and has been a bugaboo before, is that it is, "It is your job to configure a correct IP address/mask on the physical interface. You also need to configure default route and add DNS server." I have, in the past, used nano to edit the network interfaces. Something like:


    add the virtual Ethernet port right after the primary network interface information like this:

    auto eth0:0
    iface eth0:0 inet static

    saving and restarting network service. Before I mess up, am I on the correct track?

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