« Previous - Version 5/39 (diff) - Next » - Current version
Nikos Skalkotos, 11/23/2011 04:13 pm

Image Format

Right now we support 4 different types of images:
  • extdump
  • ntfsdump
  • diskdump
  • custom

extdump & ntfsdump

Those two formats are raw copies (using dd) of partitions hosting Linux systems on ext{2,3,4} and Windows systems on 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
  • The OS they host should not depend on any other partitions
  • Start at sector 2048
  • Have a bootloader installed in the partition
  • Have the root device in /etc/fstab specified in a persistent way, using UUID or LABEL (for extdump only)

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.


Diskdump is a newer format that overcomes most of the aforementioned issues. This format is a raw copy (dd) of a whole disk, instead of a partition.

This design has the following benefits:
  • Swap partitions are supported
  • The system may use multiple partitions:
    • dedicated partitions for /boot, /home etc in linux
    • system and boot partition in Windows
  • There are no restrictions on partitions starting sectors
Although diskdump is a lot more flexible that the older formats, there are still some rules to follow:
  • All devices in fstab should be specified by persistent names (UUID or LABEL)
  • LVMs and extended partitions should be avoided