Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Use Clonezilla to image KVM VirtIO disks

I'm always seeking to squeeze more speed out of common administrator tasks like disk imaging and P2V conversions. Today I tried using my favorite FOSS cloning software, Clonezilla, to restore an image to a KVM running VirtIO disks. What I found was that the current stable release (20110113-maverick) doesn't recognize VirtIO's /dev/vh[a,b,c...] disk naming syntax. You get used to this working with KVM and I'm still on the fence about VirtIO's name convention verses the more common /dev/sd[a,b,c...] method.

Luckily, another Clonezilla user already submitted a patch for VirtIO drives back in December. It should make it into a future stable release in a few months.


I was in rush to get a P2V complete, so I used a quick sed onliner to modify stable Clonezilla's Perl scripts to recognize the /dev/vda disk. You'll need to drop into the shell mode to execute this.

sudo sed -i '/\[hs\]/\[vhs\]/' /opt/drbl/sbin/ocs-*

Keep in mind that these changes will be lost if your booting from a Live CDROM.

Using the VirtIO disk drivers improve the disk imaging throughput for my machine by about 15 percent. Also, don't forget to preload the VirtIO drivers on a Windows machine before imaging and restoring. Otherwise you'll get BSOD on boot.

1 comment:

  1. is there a good writeup on how to pre-load the virtio drivers on an existing windows box?