“This tutorial shows how you can back up and restore hard drives and partitions with Ghost4Linux. Ghost4Linux is a Linux Live-CD that you insert into your computer; it contains hard disk and partition imaging and cloning tools similar to Norton Ghost. The created images are compressed and transferred to an FTP server instead of cloning locally.”
Back Up Hard Drives, Partitions with Ghost4Linux
About The Author
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2007-01-11 6:23 pmlinux-it
I have been reading it and so far I cannot say the writer of the info at your mentioned link has many things to say that actually holds.
2007-01-11 6:30 pmeMagius
It’s pretty clear that early versions of g4l were copied from g4u, but less clear that any g4u code remains in g4l at the moment. Of course, even removing the infringing code later doesn’t absolve g4l’s developer(s).
g4u’s a solid product, in any case–I use it to image and deploy the machines in my lab.
2007-01-12 2:48 pmmsetzeriigm
I agree that g4u is a great product, and I made a $20 donation to the author when I started using it. My College had a Ghost site license, but it then failed with disks with LVM partition, and Symantec was of no help. Found g4u, and it worked fine. Only problem I had was when trying to image a full classroom of machines at the same time, it would usually have about 25% of the machines fail. Later tired g4l, and it never had the problem with the ftp. Since then, I generally use udpcast, which is even better for doing many machines.
2007-01-12 9:18 pmeMagius
I’ll have to look into udpcast. Thanks for the tip.
2007-01-11 9:18 pmporcel
g4l was completely rewritten not too long ago, so I imagine that they were indeed addressed.
2007-01-11 9:25 pmRedeeman
i hope so.
however, if it were done by the same persons that did the thieving in the first place, i dont care, im not gonna use it
2007-01-12 3:00 pmmsetzeriigm
Just to point out, the original author was someone with the id of nme, the second author who did the re-writes or more of a recreation with versions up version 0.14 was Frank Stephen, and I’ve done version 0.15 thru 0.21, and currently working on 0.22 including the latest 2.6.20rc4 git kernels. (Note: the g4l cd has multiple kernels to hopefully support more hardware).
2007-01-14 6:16 pmporcel
It wasn’t. It’s new maintainer is a different guy who had nothing to do with theo original project.
2007-01-12 2:19 pmsegedunum
That article just doesn’t hold water. So what if the code was copied?
From the code comparisons as well, they just don’t map one to one in a convincing way.
What’s worse in my eyes is that I placed g4u under an Open Source license. Not the GPL everyone seems so fond of nowadays, but the BSD License which I find easier to understand and follow – and which protects software authors’ intellectual property equally well.
So would he prefer it if a company took his code, started using it in their own products, started selling it and gave him no credit? That’s what the BSD license implies.
Edited 2007-01-12 14:29
2007-01-12 2:43 pmmsetzeriigm
I wish I could say that it was 100% resolved, but I’ve had some emails with the G4U author, but haven’t gotten a complete reply. The original version was definitely based on the G4U scripts, but I must point out that the copyright information was only on the web site, and not in the scripts or diskette. At least not the ones I had seen. The original author did a translation of it to work with linux. Unfortunately, I never saw those first authors versions, and only saw the second authors last version (0.14) which very different from the original g4u scripts. It was over 2000 lines with a text gui. With the exception of user dd and ftp the programs don’t share any direct code, and don’t believe anyone but the original dd author could take credit for that. Basically both g4u and g4l are dd piping compression ftp.
The g4u/g4l copyright page hasn’t been changed in almost 2 years now, so I wish I could say it has died but basically it still obviously pops up now and then.
Finally, a comprehensive guide to g4l. I’ll give it a try and see if I can dump ghost for good. Something graphical would have been great.
We already have a really nice looking partition magic replacement (gparted livecd), now a really nice looking ghost replacement would be just awesome.
When I do clients, it’s easier to get them to try out linux when you have nice looking tools to show them (GUI). On the other hand they will pay good money if it looks really difficult to them (CLI)
just use partimage?
i certainly will not help validate the stolen code from g4u, by using g4l.
Edited 2007-01-11 19:00
2007-01-12 2:56 pmmsetzeriigm
As I mentioned in an earlier message, I don’t think the original author knowingly went out to steal code. The copyright info was only on the web site. Even that version required a lot of changes to get it to work with Linux instead of the netbsd. Hope people will take a look at the program, and if they do have a problem, don’t use it. I know Hubert is still working to improve g4u, and I’ve been working on a lot of betas for the next version to support hardware. I have occasionally had users with hardware that didn’t work with g4u, and find that g4l works. I’m just happen when people find the program useful.
2007-01-13 2:25 amMamiyaOtaru
just use partimage?
Partimage is great, except when you want to use it to move an OS to a smaller partition. For things like that (and increasingly just for backups) I like making use of tar.
tar cvpzf /some/other/partition/backup.tgz –exclude=/proc –exclude=/lost+found –exclude=/mnt –exclude=/sys /
then tar xvpfz /somet/other/partition/backup.tgz -C / making sure to create new proc, sys and mnt dirs.
Also, you can write the backup file to the partition you are backing up, using –/exclude=/backup.tgz Could get funny otherwise, recursion and such. Not sure what would happen..
man dd 😉
And I don’t care if g4l is no longer using stolen code, I won’t use it.
Edited 2007-01-11 20:15
2007-01-11 8:55 pmDoc Pain
“man dd ;-)”
And man dump, man restore. 🙂
2007-01-12 2:58 pmmsetzeriigm
Yes, it is all basically just dd, but many users don’t have the knowledge to to the dd with piping and compression and ftp. The ideal is to make it as easy as possible, but sometimes even this isn’t simple enough.
2007-01-12 5:12 pmDoc Pain
“Yes, it is all basically just dd, but many users don’t have the knowledge to to the dd with piping and compression and ftp. The ideal is to make it as easy as possible, but sometimes even this isn’t simple enough.”
In principle, that’s right. But there are some things that cannot be done “easy” because they afford certain knowledge about what you’re going to do. If you don’t have this knowledge, you won’t be able to do the task. On the other hand, there are also people who know about dd and piping and are sure that this is as easy as possible, so they won’t use a G4L live system CD that will work in most cases, instead they would use (for example) a NetBSD live system CD that works in every case (according to file systems). With this statement I don’t want to say G4L is bad, no, it really isn’t. The simple question is: What is it good for? And if you like to use it for your purposes where it does the task well and reliable, why not? Then it’s perfect for you.
2007-01-12 9:29 pmmsetzerii
Would question that a NetBSD live system CD that works in every case. I’m a member of the g4u mailing list and there are a number of people that have hardware that doesn’t work with the g4u netbsd. This is not the g4u problem, but one of supporting the hardware. In some cases, the g4l’s linux kernels do support the hardware. On 1/12/07 I just got an email from a person that had a new system that wasn’t working with even the latest alpha versions of g4u.
Good job. I successfully did a backup over Lan on
Network: Broadcom BCM5708C NetXtreme II GigE
SCSI: DELL PERC 5/i Integrated RAID Controller
I’m sure g4u will eventually support the hardware. The amazing thing I saw in g4u was how he got it to fit in a single floppy disk. I had to figure out how to build newer kernels on my own, since the previous author left no .config file or other instructions.
Additionally, with the front-end script systems, a person with knowledge could setup a system that almost anyone could use to do image backups, and only require very limited options.
I’ve also had a number of users that like the NTFSCLONE option, thou I take no credit for that, since I just added the programs on the image, and copied a few lines to provide it as an option. Much faster for backing up NTFS partitions, but it does have the disadvantage of having to have an existing ntfs partition to restore to.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
don’t know for you but the gui is very bad if i compare with ghost or drive image…
2007-01-11 11:08 pmrcsteiner
Well, it’s all text mode from the screenshots. 🙂 The fact that it’ll beam images to a remote FTP server is a nice touch, though.
2007-01-12 3:04 pmmsetzeriigm
The gui is a dialog text based gui, since it is designed to run from a generic 5MB or so kernel with text only. The script and support programs is also available for download with use with other live cds, and in those cases, it would be possible to use xdialog instead of dialog, but don’t see the real benefit in having a fancier screen. The biggest concern is getting the most hardware support.
Deoes it work with Windows/NTFS? I could use a free replacement for Ghost.
2007-01-12 1:24 amDoc Pain
“Deoes it work with Windows/NTFS? I could use a free replacement for Ghost.”
As far as I know, the usual “low level backup” (or image creation) techniques work with almost every file system or partition type, even with nonstandard stuff like “FAT” or “NTFS”. You could use a combination of dd or dump, mkfifo, scp and / or mount -t nfs (NB: not “NTFS”!) to dump on a network storage facility. I have to admit that these “hacks” are not very comfortable and need some experience in using Linux / UNIX, but they should work under all circumstances. But I can’t tell exactly if (and how) this is possible using G4L. The screenshots are nice, but there’s not much evidence about how the backup process is working.
2007-01-12 3:14 pmmsetzeriigm
The g4l uses dd as the primary copy process, and then uses lzop, gzip, or bzip to compress the image, and then uses ncftp for the transfer. It can also do local copies to Fat32 and ext2, ext3 partitions for image creation. The g4l bootcd does not have the ability to write to NTFS partitions thou NTFS write support is built in the kernel, but it doesn’t allow writes. If you use the knoppix livecd and add g4l with the files4.gz, it can run the script, and it does support NTFS writes, but it is a 600+MB image. You can clone any partition to another, but it can only write image files to the basic partitions.
A recently version of the full script is available at:
2007-01-12 3:08 pmmsetzeriigm
It can copy FAT32, NTFS, ext2, ext3, lvm, and probable any partition in the raw mode. It does use dd, so it includes programs that can be used to clear the unused sectors with nulls to greatly reduce the size of the images. In my labs, I have machines with 98, XP, and Linux partitions. I can image the entire drive, or individual partitions.
It also has NTFSCLONE added as recommended by an user, and can read and write to the ntfs partitions with it. I use it to create an image of the XP on the server in about 10 minutes, and can then restore it quickly.
I rather use Acronis Trueimage
I wonder if these issues were *really* resolved.