Cloning a Physical Linux PC that uses LVM

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I know this isn’t virtualization related, but a colleague of mine was attempting to clone 20 HP x4600 desktops running RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 and was having a heck of a time.  Using Ghost or Altiris would image the disk but during boot it would get a kernel panic. Reason being, the LVM wasn’t being copied properly with these tools.  After doing some quick research I recommended using Clonezilla, an open source tool that has support for a number of different partition types, including most Linux, Windows, Mac and LVM2.

There are two options for Clonezilla, a Live edition which boots via CD (or local install) and allows a disk to disk copy or even partition to partition copy.  The other edition is SE, which includes a DRBL server and allows multicasting of the cloning – basically allowing you to image multiple desktops at the same time from a single source.

As I type this, I’m thinking of a cool use for this product. Because ESX guests support PXE, you can connect to a DRBL server and do a quick and easy P2V of your Linux based machines.  Perhaps I should test this on my own! (Maybe P2V a Mac to ESX?)