How to copy an Ubuntu install from one laptop to another


As per Venkatesh Ramanujam answered, either you can use tool “aptoncd” tool to create backup of whatever you install via apt command line.

To install type

sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install aptoncd

Or you can do it without any software, for that follow below steps:

Go to the directory

cd /var/cache/apt/archives

All the things installed via apt resides here.

This directory works as sort of temp directory for the apt command.

When you use apt to install any thing, the command will store all the file that is being downloaded in .deb formate which is like EXE file for windows, and is transferable to any Linux distro based on deb.

A word of caution: When you use

sudo apt-get clean

the archive directory will be emptied out.

Thanks Natarajan Shriethar for...

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This question already has an answer here:

I currently have Ubuntu 10.04 server running on a portable HDD. Want to move it to internal sata HDD. I've got 3 partitions /, /home and swap. On the new HDD I plan to have different partition sizes. What's the correct way of doing these two things (move and resize)?

Clonezilla may be useful for cloning your hard disk, even for those situations on which you need to do it with different size disks as mentioned here:

It's easy to ensure that a clone of a SCSI disk is restored to a SCSI disk, but you'll have a tough time finding an exact replica size-wise. The good news is you don't have to restore a disk on another disk of the same size. The even better news is that you can in fact restore the image to a much larger disk.

When restoring a disk, Clonezilla enables you to resize the filesystem and create partitions on the new disk...

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New to Ubuntu and loving it. I'm replacing several windows systems in my home with Ubuntu because I'm tired of spending hours maintaining and tracking down viruses and spyware (mostly on the kids' systems).

Our computers are used almost exclusively for web access. I have one installation where I have configured the desktop, menus, theme, and panels exactly the way I want (removed almost everything except the browser, added some web links to the top panel, changed fonts, colors, background, etc.).

How can I recreate the configuration changes on the other systems?

Can't clone drives because the hardware varies.

I tried using tar to backup everything in the home directory and restoring that on another system, but failed miserably.

I did not keep track of all of the changes I made nor how I made them, so recreating them by hand on several systems would be a real pain. Seems if I had done all of the gconf changes from a command line I guess I could have...

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You can use remastersys, but that's typically used when you know you're resintalling many machines with the same customizations. You can find that info here:

If you just want to clone a partition and move it to a new disk, you should look into clonezilla.

If the disks are exactly the same size and don't want to use clonezilla, I've successfully used the 'dd' command. For convenience, I also used a usb disk docking station like this one You'll need to put the image on the disk there (since it would be too large to fit on the laptop itself), boot the new laptop off a live cd, get to a command prompt, and copy the image to the new laptop drive.

For reference, I'd check these places:

Here's a...

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There are many flavors of Ubuntu Linux. Each of them is based on the original release of Ubuntu, but they all have their own spin on the interface. These often include different graphical interfaces, suites of apps, and sometimes even overall Linux philosophies. Today, I want to spend some time focusing on a new Ubuntu flavor that is taking the Linux world by storm – Ubuntu Budgie.

This new flavor of Linux uses the Budgie graphical interface, but it still comes with all the great Ubuntu goodness that you have come to expect. I recently gave it a try as a virtual machine and have fallen in love with this distribution of Linux. That’s why for today’s guide, I want to show you how to install it in a dual boot setup with Windows 10.

Why I Chose Ubuntu Budgie

So why did I settle on Ubuntu Budgie? It’s easy – the interface. I am very fickle when it comes to Linux. I’m constantly switching between distributions and I never quite settle on one over the other....

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Today I would like to show you how to do a clean install of Ubuntu Linux on your PC desktop or laptop.

Ubuntu is probably the easiest Linux distro to install and comes packed with fantastic free (Open Source) software, rock-solid stability, support and excellent documentation.


1: Remember that a clean install will overwrite your current operating system (ie. Windows) and your data (photos, video, music etc) unless you backup to another storage device before installing (and in a Linux compatible format). Windows Backup & Restore or System Recovery Discs are NOT compatible with Linux, you need to manually copy or move your files and data to the external storage device, like a USB flash drive or external hard drive (see below) before you begin the installation.

2: You will also need a DVD burner to (1) burn the ISO image to a blank DVD optical disc and then (2) to install Ubuntu. If your PC or laptop is no more than about 5 years old you should...

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Tutorial for installing Ubuntu Linux on your Personal Computer or Laptop

I have been asked many times about how to install Ubuntu Linux OS. So I thought to write a tutorial on how to install Ubuntu Linux to a PC. This guide is equally helpful for installing Ubuntu 32 bit and Ubuntu 64 bit version.

Ubuntu is a very popular operating system with Linux kernel based on Debian and distributed as free open source Software. You can download Ubuntu Linux from their official website free of cost. If you are having trouble in finding Ubuntu Linux download, we have added the link in tutorial.

DVD or, USB Pendrive Minimum 4.5Gb of free space

To install with a DVD go to Ubuntu Linux Download page on their official website and burn the ISO Image(.iso) file to the DVD from here. Choose the version of Ubuntu, you want to install and chose the type, Ubuntu 32 bit or Ubuntu 64 bit depending on requirement of your system.

To install Ubuntu USB on a memory stick,...

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A laptop is a personal computer designed for mobile use and small and light enough to sit on a person's lap while in use. [1] A laptop integrates most of the typical components of a desktop computer, including a display, a keyboard, a pointing device (a touchpad, also known as a trackpad, and/or a pointing stick), speakers, and often including a battery, into a single small and light unit. The rechargeable battery (if present) is charged from an AC adapter and typically stores enough energy to run the laptop for two to three hours in its initial state, depending on the configuration and power management of the computer. Laptops are usually notebook-shaped with thicknesses between 0.7-1.5 inches (18-38 mm) and dimensions ranging from 10x8 inches (27x22cm, 13" display) to 15x11 inches (39x28cm, 17" display) and up. Modern laptops weigh 3 to 12 pounds (1.4 to 5.4 kg); older laptops were usually heavier. Most laptops are designed in the flip form factor to protect the screen and the...

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If you’ve ever wanted to completely clone your Ubuntu install, with all of the tweaks, files you’ve downloaded and changes you’ve made to it, there’s a fairly simple way to do this. What you will learn in this ArsGeek tutorial is great if you want a complete backup, or if you’re looking to move your system to a newer (read: bigger, faster, stronger) hard drive or even just to clone your install to other business machines with the same hardware.

We’ll be using the terminal (Applications-> Accessories-> Terminal) and the dd command to do this. You’ll also need to have your second disk up and running when we get going. You can either have it installed and mounted internally or use an external disk enclosure and USB or Firewire. (Note: Doing this via USB 1 will be excruciatingly slow!)

You’ll also want to either be cloning your hard drive to one of the exact same size, or if you have a larger disk, make a partition of the same size on it and clone to that. Then, use an...

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Ubuntu is an operating system with Linux kernel based on Debian and distributed as free and open source software. It’s one of the most popular operating systems for Desktop and Server. Also Ubuntu runs on phones.

In this page I’ll give you a step by step guide for beginners how to install Ubuntu separately or alongside with any other os (such as Windows 7). This works on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and higher.


Get started:

1.) Insert the Ubuntu CD or USB to your Computer and boot up. You need to set it boot first in BIOS.

2.) When you’re brought into Ubuntu Live System with Installation Wizard (You may click the Install icon on desktop), choose your language and click “Install Ubuntu” button.

3.) If you have internet connected, you can check “Downloads update while installing” and “install this third-part software” but it takes time. Skip them and you can install after Ubuntu installation.

4.) At this step you have...

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If they have to be in a specific order, the only way I can think of is to view them with the dates and times installed showing. I am assuming that they weren't all installed on the same date at the same time.

With this, you would be able to move them over per their date and time, to the new computer and install them as you go.

That would be the only way I would know of to get it to work. Just change the way you view the files on the current laptop, so that the needed info shows. You should actually be able to set up the folder they are in to list them in date/time order.

However, you wouldn't be able to move them over to the new computer all at once, as they would remove said info. So you either have to do them one at a time, or write down/take screen shots of the order date/time details.

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Thanks. I figured it out. I don't know why they don't just tell you you can simply copy the directory that represents the container and holds the rootfs and config file to /var/lib/lxc on the other server and then just do a lxc-ls -f and you'll see it and can use it just like on the original server.

I'm actually using btrfs so I have to move the directory that holds the subvolume rootfs but it works.

This article makes it seem like you can't just do an rsync or a copy but I believe you can. I think the tar option that is discussed is only IF you use tar. I'm not sure though since I just used btrfs send/receive.

Anyhow, your answer was the first and best that I saw. Thanks a lot.

Edit: Just so others know I'm not sure about the straight copy and not using tar or that switch that was suggested so if anyone reads this don't assume a straight copy will work. I'm just guessing on that. btrfs send/receive works fine...

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By "same processor type" you mean, something where I would use a i386 base install, rather than power pc or some other thing?


Home is already backed up. I didn't thought of making a second mount of root, I guess it will, (or would, since I'm going to try clonezilla) help a lot.

I was trying first to copy over the network with samba/konqueror, from symlinks, but it started asking the password a thousand times, never copying a single file, even though I added the samba user to the "root" group momentarily. Then I tried to first copy the main root partition folders to another disk, which was also having some troubles (maybe due to be running linux from there) and had also a 35 days for estimated time left.

I hope with either clonezilla, a second mount, or something else, I can reduce this time to something viable.

Thanks everybody!

Last edited by the dsc; 02-12-2010 at . Reason: tag...
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1. Dump all installed server packages from Debian Linux server1

First it is necessery to dump a list of all installed packages on the server from which the intalled deb packages 'selection' will be replicated.

debian-server1:~# dpkg --get-selections * > packages.txt

The format of the produced packages.txt file will have only two columns, in column1 there will be the package (name) installed and in column 2, the status of the package e.g.: install or deinstall

Note that you can only use the –get-selections as root superuser, trying to run it with non-privileged user I got:

hipo@server1:~$ dpkg --set-selections > packages.txt
dpkg: operation requires read/write access to dpkg status area

2. Copy packages.txt file containing the installed deb packages from server1 to server2

There is many way to copy the packages.txt package description file, one can use ftp, sftp, scp, rsync … lftp or even copy it via wget if...

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On 12/27/2010 05:48 PM, Alan Dacey Sr. wrote:

> On Monday, December 27, 2010 10:11:33 am Waleed Hamra wrote:

>> On 12/27/2010 04:36 PM, Clemens Eisserer wrote:

>>> Hi,


>>> I would like to install kubuntu on my laptop which doesn't have a

>>> working CD drive.


>>> I found a tutorial in the wiki which explains creating a bootable usb

>>> stick using a program called "usb-creator", however its not available

>>> on fedora, and is also missing on the lubuntu live-cd.


>>> Is there a manual way to create a live usb stick?


>>> Thank you in advance, Clemens



>> how about installing usb creator on the Live CD run?


>> while in the Live CD, open a terminal and type:


>> sudo apt-get usb-creator-kde


>> this should install it fine, after that create your CD.

>> but i have no idea if this can be done...

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This page will walk you through the installation process. For the purposes of this page, I'm assuming that you've already made the decision to install Ubuntu.

I don't have any screenshots on this page, as I don't have the technology to allow me to do that. But if you want to go to another site that has similar instructions, with screenshots, go here.

The first thing you'll want to do is get a copy of the Ubuntu installation CD, which you can download from their website. There are actually two types of CD you can download from the site:

The “regular” CD. You don't have to do anything to get this one; it's the one you'll get by default. This CD will let you boot right into Ubuntu, if you wish, so that you can try it out by running it from the CD, instead of installing it. If/when you're ready, you can install it. Or, if you wish, you can insert the CD while you're running Windows, and it will allow you to install from there. The “alternate” CD. This version is a bit...
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Most users out there are already running Windows, but if you’d like to give an alternative operating system a try; Ubuntu is a free, and easy to use version of Linux. Yesterday we asked groovy readers what was stopping you from giving ubuntu a try, and many said it was because “I don’t know how to safely install it on my computer.” Well, look no further! With Wubi, installing ubuntu is so easy that even my twice-removed 2nd cousin’s grandmother figured out how to do it, and that is saying a lot! On a serious note, most of the installation is automated, and our guide below will narrow out any confusion, if that is even possible…

Wubi (Windows-based ubuntu installer) is a free, open-source program that will automatically setup ubuntu as a disk-image on your computer. This means that you can install ubuntu on your computer, but easily move or remove it if you need to. And don’t worry, when you install ubunutu using Wubi, you can easily switch back and forth into...

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Users looking to install Ubuntu 16 and higher without any X11 server or graphical user interface of any kind often turn to the minimal ISO, but it requires an Internet connection to install. While it’s possible to use this to open immediately up to a CLI login screen at a virtual console, it’s not ideal because it requires network connectivity, and therefore users may wish instead to plan for some sort of offline installation. Installing a local form of Ubuntu Server edition is the easiest way to accomplish this. Even though Ubuntu Server edition is geared toward big iron system administrators, the underlying operating system and kernel structure is identical to regular Dash-powered Ubuntu.

Anyone who installed Lubuntu with the alternate ISO image is already familiar with the installer Ubuntu Server uses. Those who aren’t still shouldn’t find it difficult to use. Since it uses the ncurses interface, it’s easy to control with the standard arrow keys on an attached keyboard....

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There are a few ways to copy your config and set up. It depends on how big the changes you have made. And if you are upgrading to a new version. Some of the methods are useful when upgrading between versions but be careful as they can stop some software form working correctly.

Posted separately. How to copy an Ubuntu install from one laptop to another

This is the safest method, and does not require you to edit your grub and boot set up. Easy as most of it can be done using a gui tools.

This can be fastest way to move. As to copy your hard drive partitions as disk images is quite fast. If you don't want to re-install every piece of software. Though creating, re-sizing and moving the disk images can take quite a long time. I would only recommend this if you are not going to upgrade to a new version of Ubuntu. Make sure you understand disk partitions and grub. Most of what I am doing will use the command line. You need to make sure you understand what a command...

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There are different ways to do this. If all you have is usb keys here's what you can do:

You need 2 usb keys. If you have 3 it'll be easier though:

one for clonezilla one for ubuntu live one for transferring data

If there's any data you can't afford to lose, backup first.

If your hd is not already like this use gparted to resize/repartition it:

Windows partition (say 30Gb), Linux partition (10Gb), Big empty ext3 partition filling up the rest of the disk (500-30-10=460Gb).

Prepare your windows installation to be moved to a new computer.
For windows 7 follow this sysprep tutorial (method two, "using third party imaging software")

Now we can use Clonezilla to create images of the windows and linux partitions inside the 3rd partition:

Boot into Clonezilla, choose device-image mode. Tell it to write to the 3rd partition (3rd partition as /home/partimag) Choose expert mode and saveparts to save images of partitions, not the whole disk. In...
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The same version of Ubuntu is installed on both machines. The architecture (32/64 bit) can be different.

Step 1: Store the list of installed packages

Run the following command on the source machine to store the installed packages names in ~/pkglist:

sudo dpkg --get-selections | sed "s/.*deinstall//" | sed "s/install$//g" > ~/pkglist

Step 2: Transfer your config

Use scp or rsync or even a flash drive to transfer your home directory (~/, ~/.), the source list (/etc/apt/sources.list) and any other files you customized or installed (like apache config under /etc or softwares on /opt) from the source machine to the target one.

Step 3: Install packages

On the target machine run the following command in a failsafe terminal session to install your packages:

sudo aptitude update && cat pkglist | xargs sudo aptitude install -y


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Package management is one of the main differentiators between distributions. Between unrelated distributions, you won't be able to do anything automatic. Different distributions break down software into different sets of packages and use different names.

Between machines running the same version of the same distribution, you can achieve a similar installation by reproducing the list of installed packages. On systems using apt, such as Debian and derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint, …), use apt-clone. See How do I replicate installed package selections from one Debian system to another? (Debian Wheezy) for the exact commands. In a nutshell, on the old machine:

sudo apt-get install apt-clone apt-clone clone foo

Copy foo.apt-clone.tar.gz to the new machine and run

sudo apt-get install apt-clone sudo apt-clone restore foo.apt-clone.tar.gz

apt-clone may work between related distributions, e.g. Debian and Ubuntu. Use restore-new-distro instead of restore in that case. If that...

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You just got a brand new machine but you won’t like to spend hours tuning it to get the same configuration as the one you have used for years?

Let’s transfer your Ubuntu configuration and applications to your new computer in three simple steps.

This method is cross-architecture. I moved successfully my configuration and applications from an Ubuntu 9.04 32bit to a 64bit one.


The same version of Ubuntu is installed on both machines. The architecture (32/64 bit) can be different.

Step 1: Store the list of installed packages

Run the following command on the source machine to store the installed packages names in ~/pkglist:
sudo dpkg --get-selections | sed "s/.*deinstall//" | sed "s/install$//g" > ~/pkglist

Step 2: Transfer your config

Use scp or rsync or even a flash drive to transfer your home directory (~/*, ~/.*), the source list (/etc/apt/sources.list) and any other files you customized or installed...

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It's not so easy. If you want to go from one hard disk to another of the same size, you can do a block by block copy, which is trivial if you have a Linux system handy, or there are utilities to do the same.

If the disks are of different sizes and the new one is larger, you have a problem, as the file system and partitions will only extend to the smaller sizes on the old disk. Sometimes you can use a partition tweaking program to enlarge the last partition, but it's tricky and risky.

There is also the problem that some parts of the Windows Authentication system may be expecting the serial number of the old disk, you will have to call Microsoft to get the new disk...

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‘m a new Ubuntu Linux user. This seems like a newbie question, but I can not seem to find examples to copy files on Ubuntu. How do I copy file to another directory on Ubuntu Linux using command line terminal application? How can I copy files via terminal on Ubuntu Linux desktop?

You need to use

cp command

to copy file to another directory or external usb disk. The command line syntax is as follows to copy files via terminal:

cp old_name new_name


cp [options] old_name new_name


cp source dest


cp /path/to/source /path/to/dest/directory/

Examples: Copy file1.txt to /tmp directory

Open the Terminal and type the following command in the current directory to copy a file called file1.txt with the same name into /tmp/ directory:

Use ls command to verify new files:

ls /tmp/ ls -l /tmp/ ls -l /tmp/file1.txt

You can copy multiple files into another directory. In this example,...

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Ubuntu has branded itself as the friendly face of Linux, and this focus on accessibility extends to the setup. The OS is remarkably easy to find, download and install, and during the past few versions Canonical has done sterling work in streamlining the process and making it easier to handle. See also: Getting Started with Ubuntu.

Before you install, though, there are some decisions to be made. First of all, you need to know which version to install.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll ignore derivatives such as Kubuntu and Xubuntu, not to mention server variants, and focus on the core Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Netbook Editions.

32-bit or 64-bit?

The arguments over whether to go for 32- or 64-bit versions of Ubuntu mirror those over the 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows. 64-bit Ubuntu is marginally faster in tests, and adds support for more than 4GB of RAM. Take a look at: How to install Ubuntu software.

There are issues with hardware and software...

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After searching a bit I could not find a simple and good howto to do that.
The following method should work for any Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Manjaro, Archlinux, Fedora…). Source and target systems must be on the same processor architecture (though transfer from 32bit to 64bit should work).

What you need:

2 live USB keys (or cds) To speed up data transfer: good quality ethernet cables (one cable between the 2 computers is OK), or a usb key/drive with a BIG ext4 partition. You can try over wifi, but it may be slow.

1. Boot source and target machines on live USB/CD

Any live USB/CD should be OK.
On the target computer, you will need a tool to partition your hard drive, like gparted.
rsync is also required for data transfer: it’s included in many live systems.

Ubuntu live cd is OK, Manjaro live cd too.

2. Partition your target hard drive

Use a tool like gparted to partition the target hard drive, with the same...

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By Keir Thomas

This article is excerpted from the newly published book Ubuntu Kung Fu and published with the express permission of the publisher, the Pragmatic Programmers, LLC.

Three things must be done. First, you must discover how Ubuntu refers to the hard disks. Second, you must install ddrescue and then use it to clone the disk. Third, once ddrescue has finished, you must use the Gparted utility to expand the disk partition(s) (assuming that the new disk is bigger than the old one, which is almost certainly going to be the reason for upgrading in the first place).

It's not a good idea to clone a hard disk that's in use (any more than it's a good idea to repair a car while it's being driven), so you must use your Ubuntu install CD's live distro mode. To carry out the following instructions, boot from your Ubuntu install CD, and select Try Ubuntu from the boot menu.

Note that all the following stages are carried out using the Ubuntu install CD's live...

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