Comparison of disk cloning software

This is a partial comparison list of disk cloning software, computer programs that can copy the contents of one disk into another disk or into a disk image.

Table

Name Operating system User interface Sector by sector[lower-alpha 1] File by file[lower-alpha 2] Hot transfer[lower-alpha 3] Mount or extract[lower-alpha 4] Operation model License
Standalone Client–server From a Live OS
Acronis True Image[1] WindowsGraphicalYes[lower-alpha 5]FAT32, NTFS[lower-alpha 6]YesYesYesYesYes (64 MB)Trialware[lower-alpha 7]
Apple Software Restore macOSCommand-lineYesHFS+Novia hdiutilYesYesNoPart of macOS
CloneDisk[2] Windows 7GraphicalYesFAT, FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, UDFNoYesYesYesYesFreeware
Clonezilla[3] LinuxText-basedYesFAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs, NILFS2, HFS+, UFS, minix, VMFS3NoThrough a hack[4]YesYes (Clonezilla server edition)Yes (210 MB)GPL
dcfldd LinuxCommand-lineYesNoNoYesYesNo?GPL
dd (Unix) UnixCommand-lineYesNoNoYes[lower-alpha 8]YesNoYes[lower-alpha 9]GPLv3
Disk Utility macOSGraphicalYesHFS+YesYesYesNoYesPart of macOS
Drive SnapShot[5] WindowsGraphical, Command-lineYes[6]NoYesYesYesNoNoTrialware
FSArchiver LinuxText-basedNoFAT32, btrfs, ext2, ext3, ext4, ReiserFS-4, HPFS, JFS, XFS??YesNo?GPL
Ghost[7] WindowsGraphical,
Command-line
YesFAT32, NTFS, HPFS, ext2, ext3 [8]YesYesYesYesYesTrialware
GParted Live CD[9] LinuxGraphicalNoext2, ext3NoNoYesNoYesGPL
HDClone[10] Windows, (Linux[11])Graphical, Command-lineYesFAT16, FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS, ReFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, HFS+YesYesYesNoYesFreemium
Image for Windows[12] WindowsGraphicalYesFAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3YesYesYesNoYesTrialware
IsoBuster[13] WindowsGraphicalYesFAT12, FAT16, FAT32, ExFAT, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4, MFS, HFS, HFS+, UDF, XFS[14]NoYesYesNoYesTrialware
Kleo Bare Metal Backup Independent (Live OS)GraphicalYesFAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, HFS+No?NoYesYes (570 MB)Freeware
Mondo Rescue[15] LinuxText-basedYesFAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3Yes?Yes?Yes *[lower-alpha 10]GPL
ntfsclone[16][17] LinuxCommand-lineNoNTFS??YesNoNo[lower-alpha 11]GPL
partimage[18][19] LinuxText-basedNoFAT32, ext2, ext3, ReiserFS-3, HPFS, JFS, XFS;
UFS (beta), HFS (beta), NTFS (experimental)[20]
??YesYesNo[lower-alpha 11]GPL
Partition-Saving[21] Windows, Linux, DOSText-based
Command-line
YesFAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3NoYesYesNoYesFreeware
Redo Backup and Recovery Independent (Live OS)GraphicalYesFAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, ext4NoNoNoCan access networked drivesYes (225 MB)GPL

See also

Lists:

Comparison:

Software:

Notes

  1. Sector-by-sector transfer involves accessing the disk directly and copying the contents of each sector, thus accurately reproducing the layout of the source disk.
  2. File-based transfer (as opposed to sector-by-sector transfer), involves opening all files and copying their contents, one by one. It requires the cloning utility to have a knowledge of the file systems on the source disk. The target disk's layout may not resemble that of the source disk.
  3. Hot transfer refers to copying the contents of a volume on which there are open files in use. Implies use of shadow copy or a similar technique.
  4. Extracting is the process of browsing a disk image and retrieving some of the files that it contains, one users choice. Mounting a disk image is the process of make the disk image content available to the user as if he or she is accessing a physical read-only disk.
  5. At the Disk Cloning mode, Sector by sector feature is automatically applied and it's the only one way.
  6. Acronis True Image can detect and identify Linux partitions and prompt user to switch to sector-by-sector mode.
  7. At the trial version, you can't perform Disk Cloning feature via UI nor Rescue disc. Both methods are locked.
  8. dd's clone images can be mounted as loop device.
  9. There is no Live OS dedicated specially to dd. However Live CDs of various flavors of Linux should include dd as a part of coreutils. In general this applies also to Linux-based rescue CDs (although they may not provide dd explicitly as their primary tool, they still may give access to a shell which allows dd invocation).
  10. There is no ready-to-use Live CD with this utility. It does come bundled with Mindi-Linux which is a small Linux distribution that can be used to create a customized Live CD.
  11. There is no Live CD dedicated specially to this utility. However, it is present on several rescue CD's together with other software.

References

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