Ubuntu: Use Clonezilla to create copy of my machine and revert from 17.10 to 16.04


I recently switched to 17.10 and it conflicts with many of the utilities I use for work. It's past the point of frustration. I want to backup/clone my laptop to:

  1. revert to 16.04

  2. create a back-up machine on a separate laptop (possibly on Mint 18.3) in case it hits the fan

I've been told clonezilla is the way to go. I have the Live-USB created and I have a good idea of where to go from here. Before I start, I want to make sure that my config files, gpg keys, and other customization will be copied over.

I have been using Ubuntu and various distros for a few years now but I would still consider myself a novice outside of file system management and networking. Looking for suggestions of best practice, other methods, or things to watch out for in the process. It's my work laptop so I can't afford to screw this up!


Clonezilla is a tool for creating an image of a computer - an exact copy, that can be replicated to a new computer. If you want to revert to 16.04 this is realistically speaking a re-installation.

In this case you probably want a backup of /home. There's several ways to do this. You can look into regular backup tools like duplicity, or you can make a simple archive of /home.

To make a simple archive, you can use the following command in a terminal:

sudo tar -cvf /path/to/archive/backup.tar /home/username  

This file will contain all the content of /home, and can be stored on for instance a USB disk.

Once you have reinstalled 16.04 you can restore this with

sudo -i  cd /home/  tar --exclude=.cache -xvf /path/to/archive/backup.tar  

In addition you may have to restore ownership of your home directory.

sudo chown -R username.username /home/username  

If you make a separate partition for /home (or you already have this) you can simply re-install 16.04, and use the old /home.

The home directory is largely independent of the Linux distribution, but you may run into issues with different versions of software that does not recognize all options in the configuration.


I am using Clonezilla for regular backups. I proceed following way:

  1. I am preparing an USB Harddrive for the backup creating a directory in root of the drive: HDD Backups (I am using NTFS formatted drive). Be sure to check the needed space requirements.
  2. With Clonezilla live USB stick I boot up the machine, after a Keymap dialog appears I connect the USB Harddrive to second USB port.
  3. Within following dialogs I choose the HDD Backups on the Harddrive as mount/Partimag directory.
  4. I am using device - image mode.
  5. In last step I am selecting the Drive for which I am doing the backup.
  6. You get a confirmation question whether to proceed with backup - check the settings and choose y/n.
  7. After backup is done you can choose power-off, reboot or command line options - I am usually powering off the computer and rebooting.
  8. After power-off I remove USB stick and Harddrive.

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
Next Post »