Free Tool Linux Hot Copy

Free Universal Disk Snapshot Utility for Linux Servers

  • Volume copy service for Linux takes point-in-time snapshots
  • Snapshots any mounted file system on most block devices
  • No special storage needed; uses free space on your disk 
  • Outstanding performance compared to LVM snapshots 
  • Readable and writable snapshots enable testing on your data

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  • Overview
  • System Requirements
Windows Shell Integration

Volume copy service for Linux

Works like Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for Windows. Windows administrators use VSS to take point in time snapshots, but before Hot Copy Linux administrators didn’t have an equivalent. We created Linux Hot Copy so every Linux server has a universal disk snapshot that is fast and easy to use.

Snapshots of any Linux Block Device

Snapshots of any Linux Block Device

Linux Hot Copy creates an instant point-in-time volume snapshot of any block device while the system is running without interrupting applications.

No Dedicated Device or Storage

No Dedicated Device or Storage

Unlike LVM, you don’t need dedicated Volume Group space to maintain the snapshot. Linux Hot Copy automatically uses free space on your block device for storage, enabling you to use it on any device. Or, specify an alternate device with more space to use as a changed block store.

Find and restore individual files

High-Performance Volume Snapshots

Outperforms LVM snapshots. Linux Hot Copy has built-in file system awareness for Ext2/3/4 ReiserFS 3. It knows what parts of the block device are used by the file system and when you write to unused blocks on the disk it doesn’t perform a copy-on-write for these disk writes, enhancing performance.

Hot Copies are Readable AND Writable

Hot Copies are Readable AND Writable

Yes, you can read and even write to your snapshots. This opens up seemingly endless possibilities for use in system administration, allowing you to test scripts and programs on your data before running them on the live environment.


RPM & APT Packages


Recommended Minimum 512 MB

Linux Kernel


File Systems

Works with any local file system 

Can not snapshot remote Network File Systems

Disk Space

Block devices should have at least 15% free space available.  Alternatively, specify a file system with more free space to store Hot Copy changed blocks.

Disks and Volumes

Virtually Any Block Device 
IDE, SATA, SCSI, SAS, ISCSI, Fibre Channel, 
LVM, MD (Software RAID), Hardware RAID, DRBD





Linux Distributions

Linux Distribution


RedHat Enterprise
32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)


32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

CentOS-4, CentOS-5

32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog), 5.10 (Breezy Badger), 6.06 (Dapper Drake), 6.10 (Edgy Eft), 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron), Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), 9.10 (Karmic Koala), 10.04 (Lucid)*, 10.10 (Maverick)*

32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12*

32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

4.0 (Etch), 5.0 (lenny), 6.0 (Squeeze)*

Novell SUSE Enterprise Server
32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

10, 11

32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

10, 11

32-bit (x86) & 64-bit (x64)

2008, 2009, 2010





Physical Server Install

Guest (Virtual Machine) Install

Citrix XenServer 5


Install into guest VMs (domU)

Xen Source Hypervisor


Install into guest VMs (domU)



Install into guest VMs

VMWare Server


Install into guest VMs

VMWare Workstation


Install into guest VMs

Parallels Virtuozzo

Yes protects all Virtuozzo containers with one install

No can not be installed into individual Virtuozzo containers



Install into guest VMs


*Known Linux Kernels with Severely Broken Ext4

There was an issue with Ext4 introduced in "vanilla" kernel 2.6.32 and has been patched and released "down stream" into various Linux distributions. When any Ext4 file system snapshot is performed on an effected kernel the file system can deadlock causing a hung or crashed operating system.


This is a Linux kernel bug completely out of the control of Idera


Do not use the following Linux kernel versions with Ext4:


*       Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) Betas and Release Candidates - we have reports that Ubuntu Lucid 2.6.32-24.41 and greater are fixed


*       Ubuntu Maverick (10.10) Betas and Release Candidates


*       Debian 6 (Squeeze) Betas and Release Candidates


*       Fedora Core 12 Betas and Release Candidates


*       Xen (4.0 / 4.1) - Do Not use Ext4 on 2.6.32-5-xen - 2.6.32-35-xen_02


More Information: Bug Report

Ubuntu Bug Report