Registered 2007-09-25 by Dmitry Ivanov

Partimage-ng is a disk and partition imaging program. It allows you to create exact images of single partitions or whole drives (including partition tables so you don't need to recreate them manually). Partimage-ng does its job by manipulating the low level filesystem structures and saving only the used filesystem data blocks (sometimes referred to as clusters). Thus partimage-ng needs to "understand" the layout of the filesystem it is trying to create an image of. Currently it supports ext2, ext3, linux-swap, NTFS, and FAT32 (but not FAT16) filesystems.

Partimage-ng was started as a "do-it-right" attempt to rewrite partimage, well-known open source hard disk imaging software, from the ground up. Partimage-ng relies on the existing libraries to work with various filesystems and partition table types. These libraries are well tested and widely deployed so partimage-ng is just a glue that ties it all together.

 * Support for ext2/ext3 (via libext2fs)
 * Support for NTFS (via libntfs from ntfsprogs-2.0 or ntfs-3g)
 * Support for FAT32 (built-in)
 * Support for any other filesystem via "sector-by-sector" copying
 * Ability to create/restore images of single partitions
 * Ability to create/restore simages of whole disks including the partition table (so no need to recreate partitions using other utilities)
 * Selective backup and restore (for instance, one can backup a set of different partitions from different drives or restore a specific partition from an image of a whole drive)
 * Ability to exclude linux swap partitions from images
 * Ability to skip bad sectors on a faulty hard disk when creating an image

Partimage-ng can be used for different purposes:
 * Full system backup. You can install operating system, all software you need, configure it and tweak things a bit and then create an image of the hard disk and save to a file somewhere. Later, in case of hard disk failure or virus infection, you can restore your system to the original state in a couple of minutes.
 * Cloning system installation. Imagine you've got a whole lot of brand new computers with identical hard drives and you want them to have an identical set of software. Just set up one computer, create an image of the hard drive and then restore it to other computers.
 * System recovery to the factory state. Equipment manufacturers can use partimage-ng to create an image of the hard drive and store the image on a hidden partition or a supplementary media which can be used to restore the computer to its original factory state.

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Dmitry Ivanov
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