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I'm new to ubuntu and reinstalled 11.04 atleast 10 times already. Each time I reconfigure all my settings and end up breaking something. It is really annoying and would be much easier if I can save everything onto a cd and reinstall from the cd so my settings would be restored like in windows. Thank you in advance.

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The home directory contains per-user settings, /etc contains system-wide settings and /var/lib/dpkg contains package state information. With that information, you can restore your system fully on a new installation.
A backup of your settings is the key solution: Comparison of backup tools

To make a disk clone (disk image), see How to make a disk image and restore from it later?

If you want to experiment, consider using a Virtual Machine with VirtualBox. Using VirtualBox, you can take snapshots of the system (even if running) which can be restored later.

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unfortunately if your settings are the reason something has broken you could end up reapplying them; so watch which files you replace. – thomas michael wallace May 30 '11 at 7:51
thomas: you should be sure that a system is not broken when making an image or backup. A good backup program has a history, so you can choose an older backup if the latest is broken. – Lekensteyn May 30 '11 at 7:54

Ubuntu tweak saved my "proverbial behind" several times as it can save desktop, applications and system settings.

Download it and save your settings step by step as your system evolves and restore if you break it. Use desktop recovery and backup to save it restore to go back to specific point in time and reset to get back to the normal settings.

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Ubuntu retains the 'default' configuration of each program. So if you break something you can restore just that application by using:

dpkg-reconfigure [package name]
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Once I tried dpkg-reconfigure all, and ended up with a unworkable machine :-) It kept asking questions and I didn't know the answers. – user85164 May 7 '13 at 3:23
That's a pretty brave thing to do there! – thomas michael wallace May 7 '13 at 21:47

Check this out - - rsync and remastersys. Rysnc can be used for any type of file. Remastersys is for making something like a clone of ur current desktop.

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I was looking for a tool like remastersys but I cant seem to get it working under 11.04. I am using this guide but I cant get past the home folder. – Alex May 30 '11 at 15:11
You copied the repository for Hardy and newer. Go to and use the Karmic and newer line. Additionally they say you have to add the line manually into sources.list, as Synaptics doesn't work. Good luck. – dago May 31 '11 at 19:33

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