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EZIO Developer and User Guide


EZIO is a tool for rapid server disk image cloning/deployment within local area network. We utilize BitTorrent protocol to speed up the data distribution. Also, we use partclone to dump used filesystem blocks, and EZIO receiver can directly write received blocks to raw disk, which greatly improves performance.


EZIO is inspired by Clonezilla and BTsync (Resilio) for its idea to transfer data and massive deployment. The issue of Clonezilla is that, it is too slow in real world due to multicast feature. In real world, all clients must register to Clonezilla server before startting deployment, which cost too much time. In addition, whenever there is a client that doesn't get data or gets discorrect one and need to be re-transferred, it causes server a lot of effort. Most importanlty, in most case, the clients which cannot get data correctly may be broken, it will make server to re-transfer data again and again until it reaches its re-transfer limit and quit. Due to above issues of Clonezilla, EZIO make a difference by changing transfer mechanism. EZIO implement transfer function on top of BitTorrent, and make a lot of progress on deployment speed.


  • Faster than Clonezilla by implementing data transfer on top of the BitTorrent protocol. Clonezilla uses multicast for transfer,for which in practice are extremely slow due to limitation of multicast and clients' status. Limitation of multicast, for example, they will cost too much time waiting all the clients to register to the server. As for Computer status, for example, when there are a small amount of computers which don't have enough disk storage or might be broken, in this case, they won't get data from server successfully and need to re-transfer data, which cost lots of time.

  • Plenty of File systems are supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs and nilfs2 of GNU/Linux (2) FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS of MS Windows (3) HFS+ of Mac OS (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD (5) minix of Minix (6) VMFS3 and VMFS5 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Minix, VMWare ESX and Chrome OS/Chromium OS, no matter it's 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in EZIO.

  • Different from BTsync file level transfer, EZIO is block level transfer. Whenever a client gets wrong data, in file level transfer, it will take a lot of time re-transfer whole file. However, in block level transfer, all we need to do is to re-transfer the specific piece of data.

  • Saves data in the hard disk by using partclone.


Minimum System Requirements

  • 64bit
  • 1GB RAM


  • Ubuntu>=16.10
  • libtorrent-rasterbar>=1.1.1
  • libboost>=1.58
  • cmake>=3.0
sudo apt-get install libtorrent-rasterbar-dev -y

Build and Install

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ../
sudo make install

If you want to build a static runtime, you can

cmake .. -Dstatic_runtime=ON

If you want to build a static and stripped runtime

cmake .. -Dstatic_runtime=ON -Dstrip=ON

If you want to build gRPC service for UI or Info

cmake .. -Dgrpc_support=ON



Partclone provides utilities to save and restore used filesystem blocks (and skips the unused blocks) from/to a partition.

The newest partclone will support dump your disk to EZIO image, and generate simultaneously.

sudo partclone.extfs -c -T -s /dev/sda1 -O target/ --buffer_size 16777216

or you want generate torrent, but don't want BT image.

sudo partclone.extfs -c -t -s /dev/sda1 -O target/ --buffer_size 16777216

When finishing to dump disk, you will see the file like the picture. And using utils/ to generate torrent for deploy.

utils/ -c CloneZilla -p sda1 -i <some_path>/ -o sda1.torrent -t 'http://<some tracker>:6969/announce'


When you have a sda1.torrent you can deploy or clone your disk via Network.


Allowed Options:
  -h [ --help ]          some help
  -e [ --ratio ] arg     assign seeding ratio limit
  -t [ --timeout ] arg   assign timeout as N min(s).
  -k [ --contact ] arg   assign maxminum failure number to contact tracker
  -m [ --maxu ] arg      assign maxminum upload number
  -c [ --maxc ] arg      assign maxminum connection number
  -s [ --sequential ]    enable sequential download
  -f [ --file ]          read data from file rather than raw disk
  -U [ --upload ]        seed mode
  --cache arg            assign cache size in KiB, default is half of system 
  --listen arg           gRPC service listen address and port, default is 
  -T [ --torrent ] arg   multiple torrent support --torrent a.torrent --torrent
  -L [ --save_path ] arg multiple torrent support --save_path a/ --save_path b/


  • Seeding from BT image
./ezio -U -f -T sda1.torrent -L <path to image>
  • Seeding from Disk
./ezio -U -T sda1.torrent -L /dev/sda1


  • Downloading to Disk
./ezio -T sda1.torrent -L /dev/sda1
  • Proxy or save the image
./ezio -f -T sda1.torrent -L <path to image>


If you want to deploy over Internet or some bottleneck, you can proxy the torrent via regular BT software like qBittorrent. And don't let internal peer connect outside directly.

Easy Usage to Deploy Disk or OS via EZIO

Using CloneZilla Live (version>=testing-2.6.0-31). CloneZilla contains EZIO in its Lite Server Mode. It will be most easy way to deploy your disk or OS via BT.


In raw_storage.cpp implements a libtorrent custom storage, to allow the receiver to write received blocks directly to raw disk.

We store the "offset" in hex into torrent, the "length" into file attribute. so BT will know where the block is, and it can use the offset to seek in the disk

    'announce': '',
        'name': 'root',
        'piece length': 262144,
            {'path': ['0000000000000000'], 'length': 4096}, // store offset and length of blocks
            {'path': ['0000000000020000'], 'length': 8192},
        'pieces': 'some piece hash here'


Compare with CloneZilla Multicast Mode with EZIO Mode.

Experimental environment

  • Network: Cisco 3560G
  • Server: Dell T1700 with Intel Xeon E3-1226, 16G ram, 1TB hard disk
  • PC Client: 32 Client, same as Server
  • Image: Ubuntu Linux with 50GB data in disk. Multicast Image is compressed by pzstd. BT Image is raw file.


Time in second

Number of client Time (Unicast) Time (EZIO) Time (Multicast) Ratio (BT/Multicast)
1 474 675 390 1.731
2 948 1273 474 2.686
4 1896 1331 638 2.086
8 3792 1412 980 1.441
16 7584 1005 1454 0.691
24 11376 1048 1992 0.526
32 15168 1143 2203 0.519

Open Access Journal

More details about EZIO design and benchmark are in A Novel Massive Deployment Solution Based on the Peer-to-Peer Protocol.


  • Making a torrent cost lots of time due to sha-1 hash need to be done on every single piece of data.
  • EZIO will be extremely slow when the number of clients is too small.
  • Due to partclone limitation, for unsupported filesystem, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in EZIO.




If you are having issues, please let us know. EZIO main developer email is located at:


The project is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0 license.