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I need to replicate my Ubuntu laptop as a VirtualBox guest. To replicate in the guest the packages currently installed in my laptop, I plan to follow the recipe given here:

http://www.nixtutor.com/linux/keep-a-backup-of-installed-packages/

What I need now is a way to identify all the packages that have customizations (e.g. changes to config files, etc.)

What's the best way to do this? Can dpkg figure this information out and report it?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most, if not all of the customizations will have happened in the /etc folder. Basically what you will want to do is install all of the additional packages as you have mentioned, then compare the two /etc directories (your laptop and the virtual machine). There may be a few other places that get touched, like /usr/etc, but I bet this will get you most of the way there.

You could use the diff tool, or perhaps an SCM tool like mercurial, git or Perforce to help identify the changes.

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Take a look at Blueprint; I believe it has what you're asking for.

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this looked promising, but after running for ~10 minutes it bombed with a Python bug... ironically, the reason i'm setting up this Ubuntu virtual box is to put an end to the neverending Python bugs I get on OS X... Python bugs seem to be chasing me wherever I go... – kjo May 17 '11 at 15:02

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