Disaster Recovery

Review: Kleo Bare Metal Backup

Kleo Bare-Metal Backup is a Linux distribution with a powerful backup solution built in. It's all GUI and very simple to use.

Backups are the thing we never hope to use and when we do have to use them, we can only keep our fingers crossed that the tool we used to create the backup was successful. Most of these backup applications target the task of backing up files and folders. There are a few, however, that take this task a few steps further - all the way to bare metal. In other words, backing up and restoring a machine completely. We're not talking just files here, we're talking partition-level backup.

One of these tools, Kleo Bare-Metal Backup, was created for this very purpose. Kleo is distributed by Carroll-Net who has over fifteen years of backup experience. This tool is, effectively, a Linux distribution with a powerful backup solution built in (based on Partimage). It's all GUI and very simple to use. But will it do everything you need? Let's take a look.

Requirements

  • Supported file formats: ext2/3, fat16/32, hfs, jfs, ntfs, reiser3/4, ufs, xfs
  • CPU: 700Mhz x86 processor
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Display: VGA graphics card capable of 640x48 resolution
  • CD-ROM or DVD
  • Network card
  • Optional: USB capable boot BIOS
  • Additional vendor information
  • TechRepublic Photo Gallery

Who's it for?

Kleo Full Metal Backup is for any administrator that wants to have a full-blown GUI backup tool that is capable of backing up full partitions to either CD/DVD or a network location. It's simple to use, reliable, and doesn't stop at just backing up a system (you boot into a full-fledged operating system).

What problem does it solve?

Kleo Full Metal Backup solves the always-pressing issue of backing up partitions for data recovery. Because it backs up full partitions, you will be able to recover your data, whether the machine is booting or not.

What's wrong?

The biggest issue with this tool is that backing up to external USB drives if iffy at best. So if you do not have access to a network attached storage location, and you plan to back up large partitions, you are going to have some trouble getting this to work. Even if your USB drive will show up on a standard Linux installation, chances are it will not appear in Kleo.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for a reliable, network-friendly backup solution that will back up full partitions (working or not - unless the hard drive is physically damaged), Kleo Bare Metal Backup is a great solution. It has a simple to use graphical interface that can easily backup most file systems and do it quickly and reliably. And since this tool is free, your budget won't take as hard a hit as some of the costlier solutions that offer little more in the feature set.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Kleo Bare Metal Backup? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

9 comments
henry
henry

Well I am a fiend to have a backup of my efforts with clients PCs. I have used ghost for years on XP but now with the price of hard disks being so cheap I am telling clients to let me buy a smaller HDD and ghost W7 machines to that and leave it in the machine upplugged. Then I can from time to time update that if I wish and I can ghost the Data only partition back to the OS partition. I still use an old multitasking ghost Enterprise edition to make 2 gig splits of XP machines to terabyte HDDs as well. A bit mad but that is OK. Saves me writing them to DVD disks. Henry

NaotaKunBr
NaotaKunBr

Didn't test it yet but: 1) It recognizes mirrored disks (through mdadm)? 2) GUI only? TTF! Fabio Carvalho

RipVan
RipVan

From your review, it looks like something worth investigating. I have used Clonezilla in the past, and that worked fine for me. I haven't really backed up the one Windows installation I still have. Might try to play with it for that purpose, though. I'm sure it won't play well with different hardware and my next move NEEDS to be into more powerful hardware. It's always fun to play and see what experiences fate chooses to give you... And thanks for the info.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Acronis for Full system Images to a dedicated NAS device / tapes Important data / databases / mail off site with Asigra to secure location over the web.

hkphooey
hkphooey

Just for the sake of completeness, Parted Magic is also worth a look. I keep an updated copy on a USB stick, as its useful for doing all manner of disk related tomfoolery. http://partedmagic.com/doku.php

husserl
husserl

I've been using Acronis for donkeys (from memory maybe since around v 3x) and have only had a couple of minor problems, one of which I fix with partition magic. I am moving on though, and this is a timely post for me. I'll be investigating Kleo and System rescue, among a few others. I keep meaning to try DriveImage XML for one.

husserl
husserl

Hur. I don't think I'll worry too much about the storage. My practise is to have much more than I need. Several terabytes Even my portable drive is larger than my needs. It's greed of course! I had a nightmare with another of the alternatives (I'm OTR so I don't have access to my records and cannot be sure which), which completely stuffed up the boot drive. Fortunately I'd done a MS backup, using their fancy toy and it worked. I trashed the partition from Linux, then restored from MS, IIRC. So well done MS, something that makes the pitiful efforts in Win 98 SE seem just that (is it really 12 years ago? For a while I was dreaming). Thank you, I'll try CloneZilla. I am always in the market for a good imaging and backup package. Disaster recovery is now like a game for me, or a simulation exercise. Personally I prefer the red pill, it's yummy. :-)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The downside to clonezilla seems to be NTFS support, it compresses *nix regular partition types but stores the NTFS partition as a big block file. As a result, ext3 2 gig will compress to just the data size while ntfs 2 gig will be a 2 gig backup image.

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