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G4L (Read 6889 times)
Alex v Kaam
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G4L
Mar 14th, 2008 at 11:58am
 
although I am happy with my Ghost 12 now I was just looking around for a sollution for my linux machine and found G4L (ghost for Linux), now althoug the name suggest its for Linux it basicly seems (not tried it yet) a bootable CD (you d/l an ISO) and you can backup to other drives, network or ftp server.  Since it boots from CD it does not really mather if your system is linux or windows I guess.

Since it works from a bootable CD i guess its similair to the old Ghost which we used from floppy... I will D/L it this weekend and see how it works but my first impression is that its a free Ghost 8 ?    Anyone else tried it already or ?

Alex

ps:  http://sourceforge.net/projects/g4l
 
 
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Re: G4L
Reply #1 - Mar 14th, 2008 at 1:57pm
 
Hi Alex.

Magoo is our resident Linux guru.

I'll see what he uses for a cloning solution.

Of course, I'm interested to hear about your experiences with G4L and Linux cloning solutions.
 
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MrMagoo
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Re: G4L
Reply #2 - Mar 14th, 2008 at 2:51pm
 
I have tried Ghost4Linux, but it has been almost 2 years since I tried it.  I had trouble getting it to boot.  When it it finally booted, it choked trying to create an image.  It looks like there have been at least 2 major releases in the last year, so my experiences may not be relevant anymore.

You are correct in that it can image disks that don't necessarily contain Linux.  I think the 'Linux' part of the name comes about because it is built on a Linux kernel.  I am willing to bet it images EXT2/EXT3 and FAT32 at a minimum.  I also saw a reference that indicated it is capable of imaging NTFS, so it should work for most Windows installations.  NTFS drivers in the Linux kernel have gotten much better over the past year, so I'd almost be willing to trust an NTFS image created by Linux.

It also supports RAW copy mode - similar to Ghost's raw mode, where every bit on the disk is imaged.  This produces a rather large image, but the CD contains some tools that can be used to compress raw images as well.  Any disk with any file system can be imaged in raw mode.

Give it a shot.  I'm as interested as everyone else in your results.  Just be sure to do a test restore on a safe disk before counting on your images from G4L, since I had some trouble with it when I tried it 2 years ago.

I actually don't use a cloning solution on a regular basis.  I have some scripts that backup my home directory and send it someplace safe on a regular basis.  Since all my configuration is saved in my home directory, it is trivial to reinstall my OS and programs and then restore my home directory.  I can be up and running from a disk disaster in a few hours.  Since most applications I run don't require any soft of registration keys or activation, I haven't found cloning to be as necessary.  Recovering is much easier when your applications don't hold you hostage.
 
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Alex v Kaam
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Re: G4L
Reply #3 - Mar 15th, 2008 at 12:41am
 
I played with it last night and my findings so far:

booting:

- its close to the fastest bootcd I ever seen.
- you get some messages about a previous license type and so on
- you then end up at the prompt
- I plugged in my seagate usb drive and it was detected right away as "sda" (nice !)
- I ran ./g4l
- got another warning/welcome message and a menu:
 - raw mode (any filesystem, every bit, local+ftp)
 - File mode (some filesystems only, only files, local + special server
  - Utilities (system info and tools)
  - Show help
- I selected some filesystem and you get 5 more options:
  - Pick device (select ethernet device)
  - config device (set ip adress)
  - select partition (select partition to mount)
  - launch client
  - launch server
- I selected select partiton
- you get a list of supported filesystems: ext2, ext3, reiserfs, fat32, ntfs, jfs and xfs.  Here I got the option to mount a drive (under /mnt/local), I selected sda1 (partition 1 of my usb drive which was detected as sda)
- back in previous menu I selected launch client and got a list of all of my partitions:
  - hda1   (ntfs 33.06gb)  this is my win 2k on the old machine
  - hda2   (extended)
  - hda5   (swap 1.44gb)  this is part of my suse install on this machine
  - hda6   (ext3fs 16,12gb)  this is part of my suse install on this machine
  - hda7   (ext3fs 23,91gb) this is part of my suse install on this machine
  - sda1   (ntfs 232gb) this is the usb drive I mounted
- selected the partition hda1  (can only select 1)
- (tab)
- then need to give it location/file name /mnt/local/g4l/test1
- you then have 3 options
  - save partion into a new image file  (default)
  - restore partition from an image file
  - restore MBR from the image file
- then you can select to connect to a server (means you need to run G4L on another machine in server mode)
- F5 to get to next screen
- Compression level
  - none
  - gzip (default)
  - bzip2
- Options
  - check partion before saving (checked default)
  - enter description (checked default)
  - overwrite without prompt (unchecked default)
- Image split mode
  - Automatic split (when no space left)
  - Info files whose size is:  (checked, default is 2037MB)
  - wait after each volume change
- If finished successfully
  - wait
  - halt
  - reboot
  - quit  (default)
  - last
- F5 to next screen.



 
 
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Alex v Kaam
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Re: G4L
Reply #4 - Mar 15th, 2008 at 12:41am
 
I went with all the default options:

try 1:

/mnt/local/g4l/test1 as image file
error cant write that file, I figured it was because the directory was not created to went for /mnt/local/test1 but got same error.

Left program back to the prompt and went to /mnt/local but nothing was mounted, seems G4L unmounted on exit so did a mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/local (for those new to linux like me:  my usb was detected as sda, it has only 1 partition so that is sda1 and I want to mount it under /mnt/local.

Here I got error message that the usb drive (which is ntfs formated) was marked ditry and would be mounted in read only mode.  Shame G4L did not show that message when it mounted it.  Anyways umount /dev/sda1 and unplugged it, back to the windows machine, did a chkdsk /F from the cmd prompt to fix it and hooked it back on the linux system.

did a mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/local and that went fine
went to /mnt/local and could see the contence of the usb drive
did a mkdir g4l (as I figured I would need it anyways) and got a operation not permitted.
so back to / and umount /dec/sda1
did some www searching and tried:
ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /mnt/local
mounted fine and yes I could make the directory g4l Smiley

try 2:

backing up hda1 (the ntfs partition).
partition size was 33GB
used space was 12GB
default compression
backup speed was around 1GB in 6:50 minutes.  

try 3:

backing up hda1 (the ntfs partition).
partition size was 33GB
used space was 12GB
no compression
backup speed was around 1GB in 4:30 minutes.  

try 4:

backing up hda6 (one of the ext3fs partitions).
partition size was 16GB
used space was 4GB
default compression
backup speed was around 1GB in 6:30 minutes.  

try 5:

backing up hda6 (one of the ext3fs partitions).
partition size was 16GB
used space was 4GB
no compression
backup speed was around 1GB in 4:20 minutes.

the only good refrence I have for the throughput speed is a ghost 9 (not 8) image from that same machine which did about 2GB in 2minutes but that was under windows, I think its more fair to compare it in speed to a ghost 8 (via dos) backup, but dont have one so.  Either way like Ghost 8 this is something I would turn on before going to bed and turn off the next morning.  

I have no yet done a restore, will need to dig up another drive to restore on this week.

Overall though its not a bad tool, it does require some linux knowledge about the filesystem, the mounting and such will scare people off I think.  Also (although understandable) the warnings about the previous lisence (when you boot up), about the use at your own risk when you start and that ntfs support is still experimental will also scare people off.

But if you got several PC's and dont want to pay for a ghost lisence for each then this is an ideal tool, the FTP and server client options are also a nice bonus in case you have a network.

I would also not be suppriced if you could edit the G4L ISO image and make it all work automatlicly with some nice scripts, but that would require some more linux knowledge.

when its running you got a screen full of numbers which... well looks cool anyways Smiley you know what its doing and how far it is to the exact byte Smiley

I like it !

Alex
 
 
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Alex v Kaam
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Re: G4L
Reply #5 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:26pm
 
been a while, I played a bit more with it and a week or 4 ago a neighbour asked me to installed win98 on his old PC, did that and all the updates and drives.  Used G4L to make a backup to USB stick (win98 is like <1GB with IE 6 and DX9)  as I knew neighbour would not listen to me and install virus scanner.  Result is I restored his PC from usb stick last weekend.

this works nice indeed Smiley
 
 
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Re: G4L
Reply #6 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:52pm
 
Alex v Kaam wrote on Apr 22nd, 2008 at 2:26pm:
Used G4L to make a backup to USB stick (win98 is like <1GB with IE 6 and DX9)

Hi Alex. That's the first time I've heard of anybody doing that. Very cool.
 
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Alex v Kaam
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Re: G4L
Reply #7 - May 10th, 2008 at 10:45am
 
In the wonderfull world of G4L I cloned an 50GB IDE to a 320GB SATA, it took about 65 minutes and worked like a charm I have to say, again some knowledge about how linux names the drives is needed sba, sdb etc. etc. but it shows the size of the drives so it's also easy to see.  Drive had 3 partitions but selecting the drive sda instead of the partions sda1 sda2 sda3 was enough.

I can't find any real flaws in the program, besides that it probably is confusing for windows users but thats about it Smiley

 
 
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Re: G4L
Reply #8 - May 11th, 2008 at 10:23pm
 
Thanks for sharing your experience with Ghost for Linux.

http://redkrieg.com/2007/03/19/ghost-4-linux-complete-guide-to-imaging/
 
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