Ubuntu – Copy Ubuntu distro with all settings from one computer to a different one


I'd like to copy my exact setup from my computer at work to my computer at home. I'm trying to figure out how to go about doing that. So far I've figured this much out.

On the source computer run

dpkg --get-selections > installed-software

and backup the installed-software file

Backup /etc/apt/sources.list
Backup /usr/share/applications/ to save all my custom Quicklists
Backup /etc/fstab to save all my network mounts
Backup /usr/share/themes/ to save the customization I've done to my themes
I'm also going to backup my entire HOME directory.

Once I get to the destination computer I'm going to first do just a fresh install of 11.10 Then I'll copy over my HOME directory, /etc/apt/sources.list, /usr/share/appications, /etc/fstab and /usr/share/themes/

Then I'm going to run

dpkg --set-selections < installed-software

Followed by


That should install all of my apps for me.

I'm wondering if there's a way/need to backup dconf and gconf settings from the source computer? I guess that's my ultimate question. I'd also like any notes on anything else that might need backed up as well before I undertake this project. I hope this post is legit, I figured other people would be interested in knowing this process and I don't see any other questions that seem to really document this on here.

I'd also like to further this project and have each computer routinely backup all the necessary files so that both computer are basically identical at all times. That's stage 2 though…

Best Answer

Your best shot is imaging software like Clonezilla or FSArchiver. They'll make sure you get the exact copy of the source OS.

Another neat way is TAR Backup, but you'll have to fix UUIDs are reinstall Grub.

In case you prefer the manual way, as outlined in the question, then copying the home folder will take care of dconf and gconf.

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