I am currently using Ubuntu 10.04 installed on my desktop box. I have got a new laptop and I will be using it from now on. But I will have to do the setup all over again (setting up applications/updates). Plus many of my preferences and tweaks I've had in my desktop will be lost and those too I will have to all over again.

Is there an easy way where I can just take image or something and use it in my laptop??

Any help/pointers/links are much appreciated.

5 Answers 5

  • on the old PC:

      dpkg --get-selections  > backup.pkg.lst 
  • on the new PC - install Ubuntu with default packages

  • copy backup.pkg.lst from the old PC to the new one

      sudo su
      dpkg --set-selections < backup.pkg.lst 
      apt-get update
      apt-get dselect-upgrade
      apt-get dist-upgrade
      apt-get upgrade
  • copy home directory from old PC to the new one


Most of your display and application preferences are in your home directory (/home/<yourlogin>).

Coping this directory between your desktop and laptop computer should give you 80% of what you want. Just tar your home on the desktop, copy the archive and untar it. (scp would loose symlink and other things)

For the remaining 20%, I would consider a fresh install because laptops need special tuning. From an energy saving point of view, your battery will last longer when the system is tuned for that computer.


You could always try the Desktop Recovery in Ubuntu Tweak. It allows you to save your desktop settings, installed applications, and your system settings as separate files. The back-up files could then be copied to the laptop and recovered.


In the - [whispering quietly] - Windows world, I have used Acronis True Image to make disk images and recover them to other disk partitions. As you suggest, disk imaging would be an easy way to port everything - operating system, applications, settings, etc. - exactly as configured on one partition to another disk. I have used Partimage (http://www.partimage.org) under Linux; however, it appears that the current version of Partimage does not support Ext4, so if you need this feature, you will need to use another imaging package. One possibility is Clonezilla (http://clonezilla.org/). I have never used this software, but the home page indicates that it supports most file systems.


Remastersys (www.remastersys.com/ubuntu.html) would be an appropriate solution to your requirement. It will produce an iso from your existing system (you can choose also to put your data into the iso), which you can use to burn a cd (DVD as the ISO will be bigger than the standard 700MB of Ubuntu) or create an usb stick. Than you can install ubuntu on your laptop with all settings and applications (and data). It is like a fresh install, so also the power saving issues as mentioned in answer 1 would be covered.

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