[clug] what is best way to migrate a whole computer's content to another?

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 20:22:31 MST 2012

On 09/03/12 13:03, Nemo Maelstrom Thorx wrote:
> On 09 Mar (a Friday in 2012) around 1208 hours, Scott Ferguson did utter:
>>> ...though I've restored all the big directories which have various
>>> cruft lurking still (including multiple old copies of stuff - in some
>>> cases directories labelled by *floppy disk name*  :)
>>> dotfile crift is my enemy though... 
>> For decrufting use Bleachbit (and fslint).
> Thanks for the heads-up, they both look good and I imagine I'll make use
> of them yet, but they still seem to only be able to operate on files
> they know about. I'd bet neither wuold pick up on .goofeypw,

.googeypw would either wind up in .bash_aliases on my boxen, or be first
created with adequate comments in ~/custom, then copies into the root of ~.
I find I have to move /home every other year just to keep ~/Incoming,
~/Downloads and similar cruft accumulators manageable. I've yet to find
a suitable solution for the cruft I build up in ~/Software. Especially

A couple of suggestions:-

1. Any ~.* files should not be backed up or migrated if you plan for it...
use a ~/custom directory. Any "custom" user ~.* files are:-
;copied to ~/custom

Then backups and migration use ~/custom instead of the working ~.*
copies. On restore or migrate copy individual .* files from ~/custom on
a case by case basis (can't have too many comments).

2. To ensure backups, upgrades, and migrations catch your personalised
system files always (I'm sure everyone already backsup the original
before modifying) comment changes and add a distinctive marker.

# default is commented out - modified for temp testing
# scott_hack

When I need to migrate, clone, or upgrade that box I just hunt for files
containing "scott_hack".

> for example... I honestly don't think it's possible for an automated tool to
> be of help in my situation. It can't know which files I consider old and
> deletable, which I want to keep/archive for historical/reference/etc, and
> which I want to keep for the "just in case I use it again"

That might be where forward planning based on a critical appraisal of
the current problem might be useful ;-p

> Finding which old configs I need and manually importing is proving to eb
> a good learning experience too, and looks like bleachbit will help keep
> some of those re-imported files down to a sensible minimum now :)
> .../Nemo

Bleachbit is particularly good at cleaning up after messy programs, not
so good at guessing the motivations behind messes made by meatbots.

deborphan and debfoster are other friends of mine.

Kind regards

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