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I have a nicely configured Ubuntu 9.10 machine, with crossover linux (from Codeweavers) installed. I have the Nvidia drivers installed. Everything is just as I want it.

Now I want to move to a new machine with different hardware: different sized hard drive, different size RAM, different video card, etc. I tried the technique suggested on Ubuntu forums, "Howto: Backup and restore your system!". The results:

  • New system complains about swap not being found
  • New system complains about not finding Nvidia hardware, and I can't open the System->Administration->Hardware Drivers application (i.e., /usr/bin/jockey-gtk) to fix the problem.
  • As result of nvidia, X-Windows is throwing errors, and the on screen process for fixing X-Windows isn't working.

How do I restore a backup of my old system, including my Crossover Linux installation, to a new machine with different hardware installed?

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About the swap, there must be a swap partition with UUID matching the UUID on /etc/fstab. Apparently the data copy was ok, and you should solve the display problem separately. –  alfplayer Jan 31 '10 at 21:29

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you install a fresh install, then setup your hardware you can just copy your home directory over. With your home directory you'll be able to keep all settings for programs and desktop environment as well as your files. Isn't setting up your hardware on Ubuntu just a couple of extra minutes compared to the install time anyway?

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What happens to the crossover linux install if you just copy your home directory? –  pcapademic Jan 31 '10 at 21:45
    
no idea...but a backup is basically the same as the home dir copy. If they take IDs off your computer hardware even a backup wont prevent their copy protection from picking that up. –  Chris Jan 31 '10 at 21:57
    
Answer to the question about crossover linux, at least on ubuntu - if you install the crossover .deb package, your bottles come up find. I'm still looking for a more sophisticated way of choosing which packages to install, rather than the method proposed by @Neal. –  pcapademic Feb 2 '10 at 20:13

I agree with Chris that it would probably be safer to do a fresh install and copy over your home directory, but would add that you can save a list of installed packages with the command dpkg --get-selections > ~/packages and then restore it with sudo dpkg --set-selections < ~/packages && apt-get dselect-upgrade.

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THIS. Thank you. Google brought me to this great answer. I'm playing with 12.04 and "moving" to a new faster computer. –  Chris K Jun 14 '12 at 20:13

New system complains about swap not being found

When you partitioned the new drive you either didn't make a swap partition, or never ran mkswap on it. Edit /etc/fstab, fix(or just comment out) the swap line.

New system complains about not finding Nvidia hardware, and I can't open the System->Administration->Hardware Drivers application (i.e., /usr/bin/jockey-gtk) to fix the problem.

Why can't you?

newer versions of X don't need a config file.

try

cd /etc/X11
mv xorg.conf xorg.conf.disabled

As result of nvidia, X-Windows is throwing errors, and the on screen process for fixing X-Windows isn't working.

What errors?

FYI, there is no such thing as X-Windows.

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You should not expect this kind of image file system over to different HW would work at all. If you like to keep a identical image, you should use the Virtual Machine such as vmWare where the vmdk file can be easily migrate to different HW.

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If you're brave, you could try rsync to make an exact mirror on a hard disk that can be installed into the dest system. Otherwise, here is how I would do that exact task with my debian systems - should be almost if not identical to ubuntu.

Source System

1) dpkg -l | awk '{print $2}' > installed_packages.txt
2) tar -czf etc.tar.gz /etc
3) tar -czf home.tar.gz /home
4) tar -czf root.tar.gz /root

Destination System:

1) apt-get install `cat installed_packages.txt`
2) untar the the 3 gz file where they belong
3) reboot
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I wouldn't migrate a system running blob drivers such as Nvidia. I have no clue what Nvidia's setup process entails (it might be very specific) and write hardware-specific information to a config file.

The FLOSS drivers all migrated cleanly (as one would expect them to) as you haven't had any other errors. :)

The swap issue is solved by other answers; but to reiterate you probably just need to change the UUID of the swap partition in the /etc/fstab file.

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