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I have spent a lot of time configuring my computer: shell scripts, path definitions, video settings, as well as lots of programs. The disk is ext3 formatted.

I would like to 1) move everything important to a different computer and and/or 2) transfer it all to a virtual machine that could be run in multiple locations, backed up, snapshotted, etc.

I suspect that I could start by just copying the whole directory, but I'd appreciate it if anyone knows a more optimal solution.

Thanks,

David

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 4 '09 at 2:21

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ext3, right? Or maybe ext4? That would be a good thing to add. –  Nathaniel Nov 4 '09 at 2:26
    
ext3 I updated my question, but how does this affect the answer? –  David Sep 24 '10 at 2:25
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5 Answers

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If you're going to be doing this often, I would suggest making a custom live CD using a tool like remastersys. It's very easy to use and completely portable.

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That is a great solution. Thanks! –  David Sep 24 '10 at 2:32
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You could back up /usr/local and your home directory into version control and then check out a copy for each system you run it on, this is also convenient when you make changes later.

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Maybe you can try Clonezilla?

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Create a VirtualBox machine from your physical.

Step by step instructions:

http://www.torkwrench.com/2009/09/16/creating-a-virtualbox-guest-machine-from-a-physical-machine/

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GParted on the Live CD has the capability of copying the entire system from one drive to another. That's how I was able to keep everything after my old hard drive was starting to die and have the new system up and running with all of my customizations in under an hour.

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