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Cloning Fedora-22/23 from one PC or Laptop to another ...

asked 2015-11-24 22:09:03 -0500

nyceyes gravatar image

Hello friends:

I have Fedora-23 nicely installed on an ASUS laptop (i7 intel, with nVidia GPU) that I would like to clone to a Lenovo (also i7 Intel with nVidia GPU).

In single user (recovery) mode, I would use any one of a number of backup/restore tools (e.g. cpio archive, dump/restore, etc.), and I know how to do that; as well as install grub.

Updating hostnames, IPs and MAC addresses aside (I'm aware of those), would this simple thing work. In other words, on first boot, will Fedora scan and configure/reconfigure any device nodes that it needs, and so on?

I would probably have to change the UUIDs that may appear in grub.conf, by the way. I understand.

Basically, I've been installing and configuring Fedora a lot on my home systems lately, and would love to just clone a golden copy on one machine to another to avoid all the configuration hassle.

Does this -- generally speaking -- work?

Thank you! :)

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Do you really want to copy everything, or just install the same set of packages on the other machine?

I don’t think it actually worths it, though. You may just create a kickstart file, install Fedora with it on the other machine, and copy over all the user settings (ie. home directories).

GergelyPolonkai gravatar imageGergelyPolonkai ( 2015-11-25 06:57:45 -0500 )edit

udev should handle most devices, but you may have fstab problems with UUIDs etc.

mcaudill gravatar imagemcaudill ( 2015-11-25 08:24:35 -0500 )edit

Thanks @Gergyly and @mcaudill. I do want to copy the entire thing (I worked quire hard on the pristine image) and would love it if UDEV would handle most things device node creation wise. @ceres2009 below mentions clonezilla, and I may try that. Hang tight and I will let you know how it goes.

nyceyes gravatar imagenyceyes ( 2015-11-25 17:57:44 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-11-26 00:06:23 -0500

sergiomb gravatar image

updated 2015-11-27 10:36:21 -0500

Here is my notes:

Update: From after the cloned system boot, you may do:

touch /.autorelabel

and reboot to relabel the system.

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Thank you for this. I did pretty much the same things that you did, and was able to get my manual clone to work. Looking at your notes was a helpful validation and I added some steps that you did, too. =:)

nyceyes gravatar imagenyceyes ( 2015-11-26 20:45:22 -0500 )edit

If you have some improvement let me know to add to the notes, thanks

sergiomb gravatar imagesergiomb ( 2015-12-20 23:42:07 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-11-25 16:05:51 -0500

ceres2009 gravatar image

you could try clonezilla, a bootable usb pen drive distro. it has lots of options, like resizing etc.

i use it to backup my whole laptop from time to time, but never tried it on migrating from one vendors hardware to another.

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Thanks @ceres2009. This looks interesting. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I'll give that a shot and get back to you. If if works, I'll check the little answer box. :). Either way, it's nice to know.

nyceyes gravatar imagenyceyes ( 2015-11-25 17:59:49 -0500 )edit

answered 2015-11-26 21:22:43 -0500

nyceyes gravatar image

Just to report back, manual cloning is possible and I did it. I used to do this easily with Solaris, and it's possible with Fedora, too. As one person mentioned, udev will handle creating most new device nodes. But there is some manual work that's needed, too (e.g. Changing UUIDs in grub.cfg and /etc/fstab (to match the output of the blkid(1) command; Installing grub in the MBR; If your video card was, say, Intel and is now nVidia, then some driver work will need to be done there as well). It's all possible, just be prepared for some hands on dirty work in single-user mode and in vi(1). =:)

Thanks also to the poster of the link:

Those contain the broad steps, which you can use as a starting point.

And thanks to everyone.

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Asked: 2015-11-24 22:09:03 -0500

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Last updated: Nov 27 '15