I have been trying to follow the instructions of the top answer here: link

but there are a number of things I don't understand.

(Both machines are Ubuntu 15.10 64bit)

Use scp or rsync or even a flash drive to transfer your home directory (~/, ~/.), the source list (/etc/apt/sources.list) and any other files you customized or installed (like apache config under /etc or softwares on /opt) from the source machine to the target one.

The source list and the later stuff won't copy because I apparently don't have permission. I'm using sudo and I'm the administrator of the machine and it still won't copy.

user@user-desktop:/home$ sudo scp -pr /opt/* user@   
user@'s password: 
scp: /opt//google: Permission denied
scp: /opt//passcal: Permission denied
scp: /opt//passcal.2016.084.tar.xz: Permission denied
scp: /opt//teamviewer: Permission denied

And the second thing is:

Step 3: Install packages: On the target machine run the following command in a failsafe terminal session to install your packages

What is a "failsafe terminal session"? I've searched a lot online and there are loads of completely different answers:

How do I do this? I've already had to reinstall Ubuntu again once to start from scratch due to messing something up. I'm just hoping to migrate stuff to not have to reinstall a load of complicated, buggy programs etc but this way is turning out to be way harder


closed as off-topic by karel, Rinzwind, Thomas Ward Jan 18 '17 at 18:09

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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  • "Ubuntu 15.10" We do not support end of life systems." I've already had to reinstall Ubuntu again once to start from scratch due to messing something up. " and you still picked an end of life version? Don't... install 16.04 please. " failsafe terminal session" dont bother with that. Do control-alt-f1, log in and type them from there. – Rinzwind Jan 18 '17 at 15:52
  • That's not helpful at all. All the instructions say that you need the same version of Linux on both machines to be able to migrate the system and whenever I upgrade my system a load of programs die and take days to get back up and running. So I really don't want to upgrade the system. I just need to migrate it to the new computer without reinstalling everything and setting up everything again – mjp Jan 18 '17 at 16:12
  • The very first line on this askubuntu question responce: askubuntu.com/questions/111236/… is "Prerequisites: The same version of Ubuntu is installed on both machines. The architecture (32/64 bit) can be different." – mjp Jan 18 '17 at 16:49
  • The rules of the site dictate that we only support active releases that are not end of life at the time of a question being asked. 15.04 has been dead for a substantially long time, and has zero support here, outside of the "Upgrade from an older release" post we would close this with. – Thomas Ward Jan 18 '17 at 18:09
  • 1
    Please note that both your questions are on topic and welcome on Unix & Linux. Just break them up into separate posts. I can tell you now that the problem with scp is that you are connecting as a regular user (running sudo scp makes no difference), you need scp root@ instead of user@.... – terdon Jan 18 '17 at 18:13

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