Ubuntu install

Hi everyone,

This is my first posting as i am a newcomer to Linux, i have just installed Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid on a seperate hard drive on my desktop. I have installed all the updates and spent quite a good few hours installing programmes and generally configuring it the way i want it and i must say i am very impressed.
For a free operating system this is excellent although i am still on a learning curve, which brings me to a question i hope someone can help me with.

I now want to install Ubuntu on to my laptop as well, have i got to download all the updates and configure the system again on my laptop or is there a way of making a copy of my system ( ie a usb or live cd ) that i can just install to my laptop.

Any help or advise would be most appreciated.

Technically I don’t suppose there is anything stopping you from using a LiveCD and Gparted to create a similar partition scheme on the New PC, then making a tarball of EVRYTHING on the old system, then unpacking it to the New PC, then reinstalling the GRUB bootloader (see bottom of post) and just installing the correct drivers… but I’d just do the following instead.

Make SURE you are using the same version of Ubuntu on both machines, and that they are BOTH either 32bit or BOTH 64bit.

To install the same packages that you installed through your package manager

First if you have added any custom repositories to the Old PC, add them to the New PC too…


On the New PC you’ll still need to get the updates from online, so in a terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

On the old PC, open Synaptice, then go to File>Save Marking As … Give it a name, like package_list and make sure you put a tick in the “Save full state, not only changes” box, then click Save.

You will now find a file in your Home Folder, called package_list (or whatever you called it)… transfer that to the Home Folder on your New PC… fire up Synaptic on the New PC, and go to File>Read Markings and point it at the package_list file you just moved to you Home Folder…Click Open (this will mark all the same packages as you had on the old system), now Click Apply on the main Synaptic toolbar.

The same packages will be downloaded and installed for you.

If you REALLY don’t want to download the packages again, you could take a look at APTonCD… but I’d just let Synaptic get them again.

To transfer interface customizations and application settings etc

Copy EVERYTHING from the Home Folder of the Old PC, INCLUDING hidden files, to the Home Folder of the New PC, allowing them to overwrite what is already there.

Hidden files and folders, can be accessed by hitting Ctrl+H whilst in nautilus.

Then reboot, or log off and on again.

(personally, I’d create a second user account and make it an administrator first… just in case)

Or if you want to do it from the (failsafe) command line… you can find a solution here:
I haven’t tested this, but it looks OK to me.

Or, if you have the GRUB bootloader installed to the MBR of the external USB drive of the Old PC (ie. you use the BIOS to decide which OS to boot), you could just download the Clonezilla LiveCD, and clone the USB drive to your Laptop hard drive… but if GRUB is on the MBR of the internal drive of the Old PC, you would have to reinstall the GRUB bootloader on the laptop.

Instructions how to reinstall GRUB…

See section 12 here:
Grub2 - Community Help Wiki GRUB 2
and subsection
SIMPLEST - Copy GRUB 2 Files from the LiveCD