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In computing, a system image is a copy of the entire state of a computer system stored in some non-volatile form such as a file. A system is said to be capable of using system images if it can be shut down and later restored to exactly the same state. In such cases, system images can be used for backup.

Hibernation is an example that uses an image of the entire machine's RAM.

Disk images[edit]

Main article: Disk image

If a system has all its state written to a disk, then a system image can be produced by simply copying that disk to a file elsewhere, often with disk cloning applications. On many systems a complete system image cannot be created by a disk cloning program running within that system because information can be held outside of disks and volatile memory, for example in non-volatile memory like boot ROMs.

Process images[edit]

A process image is a copy of its state at a given point in time. It is often used for persistence. A common example is a database management system (DBMS). Most DBMS can store the state of its database or databases to a file before being closed down (see database dump). The DBMS can then be restarted later with the information in the database intact and proceed as though the software had never stopped. Another example would be the hibernate feature of many operating systems. Here, the state of all RAM memory is stored to disk, the computer is brought into an energy saving mode, then later restored to normal operation.

Some emulators provide a facility to save an image of the system being emulated. This is often called a savestate.

Programming language support[edit]

Some programming languages provide a command to take a system image of a program. This is normally a standard feature in Smalltalk (inspired by FLEX) and Lisp, among other languages. Development in these languages is often quite different from many other programming languages. For example in Lisp the programmer may load packages or other code into a running Lisp implementation using the read-eval-print loop, which usually compiles the programs. Data is loaded into the running Lisp system. The programmer may then dump a system image, containing that pre-compiled and possibly customized code - and also all loaded application data. Often this image is an executable, and can be run on other machines. This system image can be the form in which executable programs are distributed — this method has often been used by programs (such as TeX and Emacs) largely implemented in Lisp, Smalltalk, or idiosyncratic languages to avoid spending time repeating the same initialization work every time they start up.

Similar, Lisp Machines were booted from Lisp images, called Worlds. The World contains the complete operating system, its applications and its data in a single file. It was also possible to save incremental Worlds, that contain only the changes from some base World. Before saving the World, the Lisp Machine operating system could optimize the contents of memory (better memory layout, compacting data structures, sorting data, ...).

Although its purpose is different, a "system image" is often similar in structure to a core dump.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_image — Please support Wikipedia.
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11133 news items

WinBeta

WinBeta
Tue, 12 May 2015 06:30:00 -0700

While there are an army of third-party free and paid solutions out there, we're going to show you the most easiest way to create a backup of your system using a build-in feature in Windows -- System Image Backup. This procedure will create a system ...

TechRadar

TechRadar
Tue, 12 May 2015 09:18:45 -0700

A system image, otherwise referred to as a hard drive snapshot, is an image of your computer at its current state that can be stored and applied to a hard drive at any given time. If you're a hardcore gamer, a computer enthusiast, or just a normal ...

TWCN Tech News (blog)

TWCN Tech News (blog)
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 09:41:15 -0700

A System Image in Windows, can be considered as a replica of the hard drive required for running Windows. In the event of an unfortunate, when the hard drive fails to function, a System Image allows restoration. It is recommended that you create a ...

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Piano's main task was to respond appropriately to Kahn's building which he achieved through alignments in plan and elevation and by dividing his project into two major bodies: a concrete walled, glass roofed pavilion facing Kahn and a separate, sod ...

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Rendering of Minnesota-based Taxi 2000's automated transit system. (Image provided). “How would we best serve (Greenville Hospital System)? How best serve Bon Secours? How best serve Greenville Tech? That kind of input. How do we work with ...

CNET

CNET
Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:08:09 -0800

One thing that's noticeably missing from the new Windows 10 Settings menu is the system image backup utility. A system image backup is basically an exact copy ("image") of a drive -- in other words, you can use a system image to completely restore your ...

Gotta Be Mobile

Gotta Be Mobile
Mon, 11 May 2015 12:52:30 -0700

The Android 5.1.1 Lollipop System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android Lollipop on the Nexus 9. Not all devices 5.1.1 images are available, but more will be released over the coming days. This is ...

AndroidOrigin

AndroidOrigin
Mon, 25 May 2015 10:15:00 -0700

To be able to install the update, your Moto G 1st gen needs to be unrooted, on the stock Android recovery and without any sort of modifications to the system image of the phone. You will also need to be on the operating system that your phone came with ...
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