Create Clonezilla Live from scratch

Created: January 08, 2022   Last Modified: January 11, 2022   Category: linux   Print this pageBack to Home


This post contains what I did to create a customized Clonezilla Live ISO image to use with my PC. Several steps here are based primarily on this guide from Clonezilla’s homepage.

  • I created a virtual machine and run everything with the ISO image clonezilla-live-2.8.1-12-amd64.iso I downloaded from here. I created a virtual hard disk with a single ext4 partition /dev/sda1 of size around 5-10 GB for storing the customized ISO image and some temp files.

  • Open the virtual machine and boot it with the downloaded Clonezilla Live ISO. Choose Start Clonezilla > device-image > enter_shell to enter the command line prompt.

  • Run ocs-live-netcfg to configure the network so that we can access Debian repository later. Run
    rsync -aRv /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections ./
    rsync -aRv /var/lib/bluetooth ./
    tar czvf NetworkConnection.tar.gz etc var
    rm -rf etc var

    to backup the wired/wireless/bluetooth connections you have configured to NetworkConnection.tar.gz. This saves some time when you want to generate new images in the future.

  • Modify /etc/apt/sources.list if you want to assign different apt repository.

  • mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1, then mount /dev/sda1 /home/partimag, and finally cd /home/partimag.

  • If the available space in dir /tmp is less than 500 MB (run df -h to see the size of /tmp and other mounted directories), tune it to be larger than 500 MB. You can make it by the commands like: mount -t tmpfs -o "nosuid,size=60%,mode=1777" tmpfs /tmp or mount -t tmpfs -o "nosuid,size=524288000,mode=1777" tmpfs /tmp.

  • apt-get -y purge drbl clonezilla.

  • apt-get update. DO NOT run apt-get dist-upgrade or apt-get upgrade to upgrade any packages, otherwise this will break the rest of procedure.

  • apt-get -y install drbl clonezilla.

  • If you want to add more packages in Clonezilla Live, and you are sure the packages are included in Debian repository, e.g. ncpfs, you can edit /etc/drbl/drbl.conf, append ncpfs in variable PKG_FROM_DBN_WHICH_OCS_LIVE_NEED. I added the following packages:
    live-boot live-boot-initramfs-tools live-config live-config-systemd live-tools \
    cryptsetup aria2 python3-cryptography squashfs-tools \
    ctorrent mktorrent transmission-cli python3-libtorrent \
    shim-signed grub-efi-amd64-signed syslinux extlinux syslinux-common \
    arch-install-scripts git crda ntp network-manager-openvpn
  • apt-get -y install live-build debootstrap xorriso.

  • create-debian-live -f amd64 -c 'main contrib non-free' -b unstable -a 'firmware-linux-free firmware-linux ezio ocs-bttrack firmware-atheros firmware-realtek firmware-bnx2 firmware-bnx2x' -i 2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d). Run create-debian-live --help to see all possible options. To create an Ubuntu-based image, use create-ubuntu-live. You also need to apt-get -y install ubuntu-keyring before running create-ubuntu-live.

  • Run:
    ocs-iso -s --extra-boot-param "quiet" -j debian-live-for-ocs-2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d).iso -i 2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d)
    ocs-live-dev -c -s --extra-boot-param "quiet" -j debian-live-for-ocs-2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d).iso -i 2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d)

    then 2 files, clonezilla-live-2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d).iso and clonezilla-live-2.8.1-12-amd64_$(date +%Y%m%d).zip will be created, respectively. Here $(date +%Y%m%d) will output the current date in the YYYYMMDD format.

  • I created a shell script to wrap up everything above and more. To use it, simply run ./ debian for generating Debian-based images and ./ ubuntu for Ubuntu-based images. You can also find the ISO and ZIP files I created with this script here. To verify a downloaded file, download the file MD5SUMS from that page, put it in the same folder with the downloaded ZIP or ISO image, and run cat MD5SUMS | md5sum -c --ignore-missing. The size of the Ubuntu-based image is roughly twice the size of the Debian-based one because of the package linux-firmware.