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#1 2021-02-15 18:24:16

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 47

Clone / on new laptop?

I'm currently running Lithium (installed April 2020) on a Dell XPS 13 (US English keyboard) and planning to buy a ThinkPad x270 (German keyboard). I'd love to clone the whole system (including / ) without having to reinstall current packages, setup email accounts, passwords, etc.

Is this wise? I've done this before when moving between ThinkPads, but perhaps there is a difference when going between substantially different machines? Or better to install the newest version of Lithium?

BTW / and /home are and will be on different partitions.

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#2 2021-02-15 19:22:59

tknomanzr
BL Die Hard
From: Around the Bend
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,057

Re: Clone / on new laptop?

christopherisnow wrote:

I'm currently running Lithium (installed April 2020) on a Dell XPS 13 (US English keyboard) and planning to buy a ThinkPad x270 (German keyboard). I'd love to clone the whole system (including / ) without having to reinstall current packages, setup email accounts, passwords, etc.

Is this wise? I've done this before when moving between ThinkPads, but perhaps there is a difference when going between substantially different machines? Or better to install the newest version of Lithium?

BTW / and /home are and will be on different partitions.

It can be done, depending on hardware. You'll want to uninstall any proprietary video drivers because that's usually what will bork first. You'll need to update /etc/fstab with new blockids. This machine that I am on is an actual clone of my Linux desktop with the video drivers removed, then reinstalled.

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#3 2021-02-16 18:03:25

twoion
ほやほや
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 3,173

Re: Clone / on new laptop?

christopherisnow wrote:

I'm currently running Lithium (installed April 2020) on a Dell XPS 13 (US English keyboard) and planning to buy a ThinkPad x270 (German keyboard). I'd love to clone the whole system (including / ) without having to reinstall current packages, setup email accounts, passwords, etc.

Is this wise? I've done this before when moving between ThinkPads, but perhaps there is a difference when going between substantially different machines? Or better to install the newest version of Lithium?

BTW / and /home are and will be on different partitions.

This is definitely possible; I have migrated my ArchLinux install through 2 laptops and 4 SSDs without reinstalling once. There will be 0 problems if you move between 2 x86_64 compatible platforms. As long as the Linux can execute on the new Laptop as well (which it couldn't if you'd be moving it to an ARM CPU for example) it's quite simple.

You'll find important pointers here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mi … w_hardware , applicable to Debian as well  It's important to have a plan first, then go to work. I suggest using a method that keeps the old disk and data intact, so you can have fun playing with the new copy.

I've only done it with Arch, which has convenient tools for getting chroots right when you go to modify the copied original system using the live session, but it's also definitely possible with Debian.


There is no competition between bugs. When you combine two awesome bugs, you get a totally awesome bug.

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#4 2021-02-16 19:03:43

tknomanzr
BL Die Hard
From: Around the Bend
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,057

Re: Clone / on new laptop?

That's the most important consideration: if something goes wrong, you have to be able the chroot into the system.

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#5 2021-02-17 16:36:43

christopherisnow
Member
Registered: 2018-05-19
Posts: 47

Re: Clone / on new laptop?

Thanks, both. I ended up doing a fresh install anyway because my old Lithium was pre-stable (April 2020). Also had some problems backing up what I presume to be corrupted files. No biggie.

I will back up the fresh install, though, and keep it updated for future cloning!

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