I'm sure for the Linux pros out there there is a really obvious way of doing this, but is there an easy way to backup an Ubuntu software configuration, essentially as a distribution?
To clarify, I just installed Ubuntu 12.10 on my laptop. I went through a ton of updates, installed a bunch of software, configured some settings, etc., and I would like to essentially "store" this configuration essentially giving me an image that I could use to restore the computer to the same point if I needed to. While I know I can just dump the contents of the disk, I wanted it to be a bit hardware agnostic so if I needed to I could install onto different hardware (perhaps replicating the setup on a different PC).
I think what I am looking for is a way to take my current configuration and turn it into a custom distribution, but I'm not sure of an easy way to do this that will retain all my updates and configurations. I imagine there is probably an easy way though since this kind of replication seems like it'd be common in IT use.
Edit: As additional clarification, the backup cannot require an internet connection to work (i.e. all the packages, updates, and configurations should be stored with the backup) and it should not be tied to a specific hardware configuration (so I don't think a direct disk image clone will work).