I have a production server running Ubuntu. I would like to setup similar configuration installed on my local machine. I'd like to have same packages installed.

Since bandwidth is a constraint the traditional disk cloning methods won't work for me. Having same packages installed and same users with same passwords created would be wonderful; I'll tweak the rest of the things manually.

Is there a good solution for my requirements?

dpkg --get-selections > packlist.txt  
cat packlist.txt | dpkg --set-selections  
dselect install  

For details on this command, check here on joys of programming

If you need the same users and passwords you should grab /etc/group /etc/passwd and /etc/shadow

If you need the user data you need to copy /home (it's usually HUGE, so it was left out of the original post)

  • note: this will only replicate packages installed, NOT configuration. over low bandwidth links with proper configure scripts it can be a lifesaver though Nov 20 '10 at 16:34
  • In case some things are installed by hand compilation and not through package manager, would rsyncing /usr suffice?
    – sharjeel
    Nov 21 '10 at 5:41
  • 1
    it depends on what you installed and how exactly...some things may need directories/files in other directories(var opt)...manual compilation adds a completely new dimension. If you still have the configure script you could try debianizing it and copying the debs to a local repo Nov 21 '10 at 12:07
  • as a testing step, you could diff a recursive directory listing before and after compilation to find out what files get dropped/directories made Nov 21 '10 at 12:10
  • I would recommend copying debconf settings as well.
    – Jayen
    Jun 22 '14 at 4:03

Install aptoncd.

sudo apt-get install aptoncd   

Select the packages, create iso, take to other machine, install aptoncd, and then restore from iso.


I haven't tried clonezilla myself, and I hardly know how it works, but what I've been told so far is that you should be able to make an exact copy of your system, and I guess you should be able to install the copy as well.

you can read about Clonezilla here


You can use remastersys Install remastersys for that. Remastersys can make a full system backup including personal data to a live CD or DVD that you can use anywhere and install.

For reference see the posts below:

  • 1
    As I've put in my question, my scenario requires installation of same packages from internet rather than copying from server as bandwidth is the constraint. I don't think remastersys fits here
    – sharjeel
    Nov 20 '10 at 14:36

I'm sure there is a better solution but maybe this fits your needs: capistrano install capistrano

See here on GitHub for more information.

  • installing another tool for package management when we already have several seems a bit obtuse...just a thought. Nov 20 '10 at 18:53
  • 1
    Capistrano is more than a tool for package management, it is a full featured deployment tool for automating tasks on remote servers. There is nothing wrong in offering more alternatives to someone's needs. It is the purpose of this site. Anyway, let our friend choose whatever solution he thinks best fit his needs.
    – zuzust
    Nov 20 '10 at 20:20

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