can I mirror my desktop to the laptop?

By cvaughan02 ·
I currently work on a pc, running the latest version of Ubuntu. But I'm upgrading to a laptop in a couple of weeks, so I can work while I'm on the road.

The problem is, I know my laptop is going to come preloaded with windows, which I will promptly delete (I hate windows).

I'm wondering how I can mirror my entire ubuntu install over to the laptop. The thing is, I have a lot of saved info on the desktop(passwords, ftp info, etc...) because I'm a web programmer and I have to connect to hundreds of client's sites with on-click.

My current desktop is a dinosaur. It was actually my backup pc and the other died about a year ago. Assume it's running the least advance hardware possible. The hd is 40gb.

The new laptop is going to be a pretty middle of the road machine, with at least a 250gb hd, so plenty of space for the current install of Ubuntu.

I'd prefer not to have to buy any third-party software, but I can if necessary.

Vaughan Freelance Svcs

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Both ways

by oldbaritone In reply to can I mirror my desktop t ...

Simplest solution would be to copy the entire 40 GB onto the new machine, as you said, there's plenty of space. When I did that, I created a folder called "/old" and just copied everything.

Then run updatedb, and you'll be able to "locate" whatever you need. When it's in a location that begins with "/old" you'll know it's from the old machine. You'll find two of the same file, and you'll be able to "cp" the file from "/old" to wherever.

OTOH, If you're trying to keep a synchronized mirror between two machines, you may want to share data from the old machine, perhaps with Samba, and you can mount the data from your old system into your new machine's using "mount -t smbfs [device] [dir]"

And don't worry about dinosaurs - linux works just fine on them.

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can I boot to it?

by cvaughan02 In reply to can I mirror my desktop t ...

Thanks for the feedback. At this point the first sounds the most appealing.

I'm wondering though, can I set it up to where I can boot to this install of ubuntu on the new machine. What I really want to keep is all my settings(browser settings, saved ftp passwords, file heirarchys etc.. ) because it's really setup like I need it.

is there a way to create an iso of this install and then "burn" that to the new hd? I could probably get a hd converter to connect the new hd to the current pc,via the internal cable(they only cost like $20). But how do I take an entire drive and make an iso out of it?

Oh and so right about the dinosaurs.. I had windows on this machine at one point and after a week it was sooo painstaking that I just wiped the drive... linux has always been my choice on these older solutions, ever since the thinkpad :-)

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Here's one way to do it

by jasonhiner Moderator In reply to can I mirror my desktop t ...

1. On the old Ubuntu machine, run all of the latest updates for the system and for all of your apps
2. Do a fresh Ubuntu install on your new machine with same version of Ubuntu as your old machine
3. As part of the installation process make a primary user account that has the same exact username as your primary user account on your old machine (THIS STEP IS CRITICAL)
4. Install all of the same software and run all of updates on the new Ubuntu machine (You should now have an OS environment that is almost identical to your old machine)
5. Copy the home folder (/home/username) from the primary user account on your old machine to your new machine. This will overwrite the existing home folder since you created an account with the same username.

This will migrate your data, settings, and configuration files and should handle most of what you are trying to accomplish.

However, keep in mind that any system-level configuration files (like Samba) will not be migrated as part of this process. you'll need to reconfigure those or migrate the configuration files individually.

Also, you need to make sure that you install the same exact versions of your apps on the new system as you have on the old system. For example, if you have Thunderbird 2.0 on the old system and Thunderbird 3.0 on the new system, the config files that you migrate won't work correctly.

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so simple that it just might work, lol

by cvaughan02 In reply to can I mirror my desktop t ...

Thanks jason,

That actually sounds really reasonable. I'm going to try that method first and see how it goes. I'll let you guys know when I get the new machine and set it up.


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