I installed ubuntu 10.10 on my laptop and configured a lot, installed and setup lot of things on it to suit my needs. Now I want to move this setup to anothe machine and want to avoid all the setup again. Is there a way I can create an installer out of my existing ubuntu installation/partition which I can reuse for other machines?

  • Similar to this but probably not a dupe: askubuntu.com/questions/9135/… Nov 18, 2010 at 17:08
  • Just an idea so I'm not posting it as an answer. Since there's no concept of a "registry" here, couldn't you boot from a different OS (a LiveCD perhaps) and burn the entire contents of "/" to a DVD, then copy it onto the new hard drive or partition, then just install grub? Ubuntu usually handles hardware changes really well.
    – Mussnoon
    Nov 18, 2010 at 19:01

4 Answers 4


Remastersys is the application you need.

For a step-by-step description with screenshots, visit: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/remastersys


I had this problem too (asked about it here before I found this thread)

Is it possible to create an installation disk of Ubuntu, from an already existing installation?

I tried looking into Remastersys, but after I read this line:

Remastersys itself has been discontinued

I didn't bother to look if it's true or not, and tried using relinux.

Suffice to say it worked like a charm.

(There is no GUI, it's all commands)

How to use it (All following info are taken and available inside the application):

  1. Download the tar file.
  2. Extract it
  3. To install it, run this command:

    sudo cp -R usr etc wubick/etc wubick/usr /
  4. After installing it, the /usr/share/doc/relinux/README file contains information on how to use the application
  5. Run the following two commands:

    sudo cp /etc/relinux/relinux.conf ./relinux.conf
    sudo sed -i 's:EXCLUDES="\(.*\)":EXCLUDES="\1 '`readlink -f ./relinux.conf`'":g' ./relinux.conf
  6. If you know what you are doing, edit the configuration file you just copied to change the parameters as you with.

    For example adding /home/* to the EXCLUDES parameter, if you don't want personal data to be copied. (I wasn't sure if it gets excluded automatically, but it's better to be safe)

  7. Run this command :

    sudo relinux squashfs relinux.conf

    It will take a little while before it finishes (sudo is required here even if you were in a folder owned by you, because this relinux will check for missing and required packages and install them).

  8. Finally run:

    sudo relinux onlyiso relinux.conf

    This will create the ISO file. If you didn't change anything in the configuration file, it will be called custom.iso.

P.S. The last two commands can combined into one with sudo relinux iso relinux.conf if you feel like waiting for the first to finish and then run the second.

P.S.S If anything messes up, and/or you decided to start from scratch run one of these commands first (depending on what you want).

sudo relinux clean relinux.conf
sudo relinux fullclean relinux.conf

The first cleans the temp files created in your working directory (WORKDIR parameter in the configuration file)

The second ones cleans all the files created, even the ISO file.


If the machine has the same hardware, you could image the orignal and restore it to the new machine using something like clonezilla. Storing the image on the network and restoring it using a clonezilla live cd works very well.


Copying the whole hard drive contents over from your current one to your new one should work fine as long as both machines have the same hardware architecture, e.g. 32bit to 32bit.

If the drivers are non-standard and differs (e.g. current is ati graphics card, new is nvidia) you'll have to install the correct drivers.

If you've created an xorg.conf file then that may not be suitable for the new graphics/monitor.

You can make an exact copy using the dd command. dd if=/dev/currentdrive of=/dev/newdrive

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