Rescuezilla: System Recovery Tools

Jarret B

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May 22, 2017
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Rescuezilla is a fork of Clonezilla with more ability. You can back up and restore drive and partitions. It is also possible to clone a whole disk, including all partitions, to another disk.

Rescuezilla is a Debian based distro of Linux that is an ISO and you can burn it to a USB Stick to be bootable. Once booted, you can back up, restore, clone or verify an image.

Rescuezilla Booting

To start, you'll need to get the ISO file for Rescuezilla. Go to '' to find the link for the most up-to-date version. Currently, the version is based on Jammy Jellyfish at ''.

Once downloaded, you can use Balena-Etcher to burn the ISO to a USB Stick.

After you burn the ISO to a USB Stick, boot the system from it and start Rescuezilla. After the Operating System (OS) starts, see a screen similar to Figure 1.

Figure 01.jpg


Backup a Drive

Keep in mind that until needed, the system will not mount an external drive. By closing the window in Figure 1, you’ll see the regular OS screen. You can open a file manager, but you'll only see Rescuezilla in RAM. Open the Menu and got to 'Other' → 'Disks'. From 'Disks', you can mount other drives.

Let's say, for example, that you wanted to back up the local disk. Click on the 'Backup' icon and follow the screen's directions.

The first screen, in my case, is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 02.jpg


The first screen asks you to select the disk you want to back up. Here, you can see that I have three drives. The first one is my internal 1 TB SSD. This is the one I will choose to back up. The second disk is an external 4 TB Seagate Expansion Desk. The third disk is the bootable Rescuezilla USB Stick.

After choosing Disk 1 to back up, I can click on 'Next'.

The next screen, Figure 3, lets me choose the partitions on the selected disk. Here, you can see that my disk comprises four partitions. They are all selected by default to be backed up. After making your selection, click on 'Next'.

Figure 03.jpg


Once you choose which partitions to back up, you then will choose the disk on which to save the backup, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 04.jpg


Here, I would choose Disk #2. At the top of the screen, there is an option to choose a shared drive on the Network. Make your choice and click 'Next'.

Next, in Figure 5, you will choose the folder in which to place the backup file.

Figure 05.jpg


The system mounts the destination drive as '/mnt/backup/'. Select the 'Browse' button and set a folder in which to place the backup files created. Once this is done, click on 'Next' to continue.

The next screen allows you to name the backup. The default name will include the current date, such as '2024-01-30-0021-img-rescuzilla'. You can change the name as you desire. Figure 6 shows the screen.

Figure 06.jpg


In Figure 7, you can choose a compression method and the compression level. The default is using 'gzip'. The other choices are 'zstandard', 'bzip2' or 'Uncompressed'.

Figure 07.jpg


The next screen, Figure 8, simply shows the choices you have made so far. When you click 'Next', the backup should start.

Figure 08.jpg


Restore a Backup

The process is like performing a backup.

You choose the location of the backup files and then choose the backup files you want to restore.

Next, you'll choose which partitions to restore and then where to restore them.

Clone a Drive

The process of cloning is a little less involved, but it lets you copy one disk to another and create all the same partitions with the data.

An example, I can install Linux on a system. Clone the drive to a second drive, such as a portable external drive.

I can then clone this drive to multiple other systems, one at a time, using Rescuezilla. When you reboot the systems, you would have to change the hostname of each system and reboot again. This can save some time by not having to perform a system update on each system, only the first one before making the clone.

Image Explorer

This is currently in Beta, but with this option you can open a backup and look through the files in the backup.

To perform the 'Image Explorer', it is best you use 'Uncompressed' when creating a backup.


Rescuezilla is a very simple tool to use. It is highly graphical-based and easy to use for newbies.

For anyone that uses Clonezilla, the backup files made with one program are compatible with the other.