Re: cloning/saving system
For future reference, if you want to have a basic clone
(not an exact copy) of a machine, what I end up doing (which allows me
to provision a machine in about 15 minutes) uses the following
1. Create a package list on the old machine 
dpkg --get-selections | grep -v deinstall > pkglist.hostname
2. (Optional) Capture the drive layout 
df > driveinfo.hostname
df -h >> driveinfo.hostname
fdisk -l >> driveinfo.hostname
3. Build the new machine with the netinst or businesscard cd. When
asked what type of system to build (package selection), uncheck all the
Reboot into your new system, copy pkglist.hostname from step 1 onto the machine. Do the following:
dpkg --set-selections < pkglist.hostname
This should give you a system with a nearly identical set of packages that you can then tweak to your hearts content.
You can actually back these files up and have a pool of different
"types" of machine. For instance, I have a workstation packagelist, a
laptop list, as well as lists for the various types of bastion hosts in
my network, including a wiki host (mediawiki), firewall, backup server,
On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 5:41 PM, John Lindsay <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks for all the info on the above. "SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED" has persuaded me NOT to do as I planned. She likes the system as is and refuses to let me change it. Thanks anyway as I did learn a lot by following up the suggestions on clonezilla etc.
John Lindsay wrote:
I am currently using debian lenny as my primary computer. It's a Dell Dimension 8300, P4, 3.4G with 1G Ram. 60G HD.
I also have a Dell Optiplex GX620 which currently has win7 on a 300G HD with 1.5g ram. I will be removing files from the win7 and storing them on DVDs and installing Debian on it. How can I clone/transfer my current working machine with all it's files/programs like thunderbird/iceweasel etc to the GX520 and still retain a working system?
PS I have file backup manager 'Pybackpack' currently running but I don't think that is what I want.
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