TriBoot Saga: The Imaging Blues

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On Monday, I posted my success in tribooting a MacBook Pro for use in a lab. It's been great, impressing all that have seen it so far. But there is at least one thing that is holding the deployment back: The images.

With a Mac, you can completely image a drive and then use it to boot from a NetBoot image, or install the image on the machine. Also, you can use it to restore the image fairly easily. But it's limited in the types of drives it can work with. I can use the images on a Mac Extended partition, FAT 32 partition, but I can't work it on a Linux partition (ext2, ext3, RaiserFS, etc.). So this means that imaging the Mac way doesn't make sense. Unfortunately, I haven't found any other way to image the Linux partition.

So, I'm placing this request out there generally. Is there a way to image a Linux partition, and restore it with the same convenience as a Mac image and restore? What hardware is required? What software configuration is necessary? This can be applied generally to any Linux partition, but specifically I am using Ubuntu for this partition. Ideally I would like to image the entire drive, partitions and all, and restore it without having to do anything special to the computer. But I would settle for just imaging the Linux partition, and restoring it.

Thanks in advance for anyone that has the answer! ^_^