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Nikos Skalkotos, 10/21/2011 12:51 pm

Image Format

Right now we support 2 image formats: extdump and ntfsdump. Those formats are raw copies (using dd) of partitions hosting ext{2,3,4} and ntfs filesystems respectively.

Partitions hosting a windows or linux system that are suitable for dumping should have the following properties:
  • Be the first partition in the filesystem
  • Start at sector 2048
  • Have a bootloader installed in the partition

Known Issues

  • For linux systems, having grub installed in the partition is fragile and things can go wrong when resizing the partitions, especially when shrinking.
  • Swap space is not supported.
  • More complicated partition schemes are not supported.
  • We only support linux and windows images

Future Work

We are considering changing the {ext,ntfs}dump format in order to overcome the known issues.

  • Extend extdump to contain the first 2048 sectors.
    +) Overcame the grub problem
    +) Easy to deploy, with only few changes
    -) The extdump image won't be directly mountable any more. We will have to use the device mapper before mounting the image.
  • Ιnclude an additional file that has rules on how the image should be deployed.
    +) Support more complicated partition schemes.
    +) Customize settings like the number of users accounts their password will change.
    -) This can dramatically increase the complexity of the image format.
    -) This can dramatically increase the complexity of the bundling tool.
  • Use a diskdump format (a raw disk copy)
    +) Run different OS's