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Acronis True Image Workstation Network Boot (PXE)

Acronis True Image Workstation is a powerfull backup program for your workstation. You can create a CD which you can use to backup all your partitions to network or attachted storage. Later on you can do a bare metal restore from your backups.
However if you want to backup your computers regularily dealing with the CD is boring and beeing able to use the Acronis software via a network (PXE) boot is really convenient. The following steps show you how to setup a network booted Acronis True Image with the pxelinux network boot environment. They were tested with Acronis Workstation 9.1 and 9.5, name the files listed below according to your version.

  1. Create the CD image from the installed Acronis Windows Software. Then either burn the image or transfer the image file to a linux computer.
  2. Mount the Acronis CD: mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt or if you have an iso image file: mount -t iso9660 -o loop /path/to/iso /mnt.
  3. Copy the relevant files: cp /mnt/Recovery\ Manager/kernel.dat /tftpboot/acronis-9.1 and cp /mnt/Recovery\ Manager/ramdisk.dat /tftpboot/acronis-9.1.img
  4. Add the following to your pxelinux configuration (/tftpboot/pxelinux.cfg/default):
    label acronis
      KERNEL acronis-9.1
      APPEND initrd=acronis-9.1.img ramdisk_size=32000 quiet vga=0x315
    
  5. Now you can boot into your Acronis Linux.
  6. If you get a kernel panic when booting you can increase the ramdisk_size parameter. To use a 64MiB ramdisk use ramdisk_size=64000. You can also choose a higher display resolution, for example to choose 1024x768: vga=0x318 or 1280x1024: vga=0x31B.

I don't show how to setup your DHCP and tftp servers. Look with your favourite search engine how to do this with Unix or Windows.

Harddisk booting

You can also use the acronis kernel and initrd files to boot from an external (USB) harddisk. This is handy if you want to make backups to the external harddisk and start acronis right from your backup media. You can use either syslinux or grub (or any other bootloader capable of loading linux) to start acronis.

grub sample configuration

timeout 60

title Acronis Workstation 9.1 1280x1024
kernel (hd0,0)/acronis-9.1 ramdisk_size=32000 quiet vga=0x31B
initrd=(hd0,0)/acronis-9.1.img

title Acronis Workstation 9.1 1024x768
kernel (hd0,0)/acronis-9.1 ramdisk_size=32000 quiet vga=0x318
initrd=(hd0,0)/acronis-9.1.img

title Acronis Workstation 9.1 800x600
kernel (hd0,0)/acronis-9.1 ramdisk_size=32000 quiet vga=0x315
initrd=(hd0,0)/acronis-9.1.img

title Hard Disk
map (hd1) (hd0)
map (hd0) (hd1)
rootnoverify (hd1)
chainloader +1

title Floppy
root (fd0)
chainloader +1

title Memtest86+
kernel (hd0,0)/memtest.bin

title halt
halt

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