vision: easily move all my data and config to a new machine
I've read a scrum book and have learned about the importance of visions.
Visions like: "to put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of
I'm currently switching my laptop (again) and I have the following vision:
The Debian system should provide tools to make it possible to switch over from
one machine to another in a matter of minutes without leaving any data,
configuration or customization of the old machine behind.
I've started by building debian packages with equivs that have dependencies to
all packages that I've installed by hand on my old machine. This is not
comfortable. I started thinking about a tagging system that allows users to
attach some information to each debian package: why did I install it? What is
it category for me: debian-development, fun, scientific-paper-writing,
children-education, ... On another machine I could then install packages based
on such tags.
I move as much data as possible into the custody of git-annex.
I manage my dot files with vcsh.
Now I'd like to know which files in /etc are still in their default state and
which were modified by me, including a diff against the default. Is there some
possibility to get this information? I have etckeeper installed but I don't
see how it could give me this information.
What other things are there that I'd want to move to the new machine? For
I think I'll write a cronjob to do a daily listing of the packages that I've
installed on my machine by hand and that are not yet covered by an equivs
 aptitude search "?not(?essential) ?installed ?not(?reverse-
depends(?installed)) ?not(?reverse-predepends(?installed)) ?not(?reverse-
Maybe we should talk about this topic at the debconf in Switzerland?
Thomas Koch, http://www.koch.ro