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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 09-24-2010, 11:18 AM   #1
SaintDanBert
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swap boot HDD to alternate computer


I have two almost identical computers -- identical model & type designator; minor difference in hardware details. Both boxes have an installed and running Ubuntu -- one Lucid (v10.04 LTS) and one Jaunty (v9.04). Consider box-A with drive-A and box-B with drive-B.
Q1: If I swap drive-A to box-B and drive-B to box-A, is system startup clever enough to work around any minor hardware differences?

I know! "It depends..."

One minor difference is the wifi card. Both are Intel -- one is the 3945 while the other is the 4965. Another difference is partition sizes and mount points. Another difference is RAM size -- 3GB vs. 4GB. Another difference is the specific brand and specs for DVD=RW. I could go on, but the differences seem minor if not trivial.

I have a reason for such a swap that makes sense to me. I simply want to make sure that the system startup will figure out what is different.
Q2: Is there some command or utility to run after I make the swap that will add-remove packages and make the install on drive-A better matched to box-B, etc?

Merci d'avance,
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 09-24-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
I have two almost identical computers -- identical model & type designator; minor difference in hardware details. Both boxes have an installed and running Ubuntu -- one Lucid (v10.04 LTS) and one Jaunty (v9.04). Consider box-A with drive-A and box-B with drive-B.
Q1: If I swap drive-A to box-B and drive-B to box-A, is system startup clever enough to work around any minor hardware differences?

I know! "It depends..."
That's question 1 sorted.

One of the things it depends on is how much of the install is modules and how much compiled in. With a standard Ubuntu build, not much is compiled and there is a lot of HW detection and configuration at boot, so you don't need to rewrite major configuration files when you swap out a pci card any more. As long as there are free software drivers for everything you'll probably be OK.

Quote:
One minor difference is the wifi card. Both are Intel -- one is the 3945 while the other is the 4965.
Doubt there will be an issue, worst case the wifi won't go.
Quote:
Another difference is partition sizes and mount points.
Sorry, did you not say you were swapping HDD over - in which case the configuration of the HDDs will stay the same ... you are not moving the software to a new drive ... or are you?
Quote:
Another difference is RAM size -- 3GB vs. 4GB. Another difference is the specific brand and specs for DVD=RW. I could go on, but the differences seem minor if not trivial.
Yeah - likely issues arise if there are different proprietary video cards and different CPU architectures. Different types of bus may make trouble, but it's been ages since I've had anything to do at that level.

My bet is - try it and see. Worst case: you have to swap back.

Quote:
I have a reason for such a swap that makes sense to me. I simply want to make sure that the system startup will figure out what is different.
Q2: Is there some command or utility to run after I make the swap that will add-remove packages and make the install on drive-A better matched to box-B, etc?
Only the package manager - after the swap, you want to install missing components if any, then do a full update and clean out the unused packages.
 
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Old 09-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #3
SaintDanBert
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Let me see if I understand. Since I'm using as-shipped distro kernels and updates on systems that are running now, moving from A to B will have all of the parts for whatever kernel-A finds on hardware-B. Once I boot the swapped configuration, update-manager and friends will help back-fill missing parts if any exist.

If the attached displays run at different resolutions, will udev and friends inform xinit and friends at boot time so that I have working desktop? Video hardware is the same box-A vs. box-B.
 
Old 09-27-2010, 09:58 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Monitors are rarely a problem, and if they are, you'd know already because you had to manually create a custom xorg.conf.

the update manager will not, in general, install anything missing. You can run apt-get or aptitude from cli to remove packages you no longer need using the clean and purge options (read the man page) but you have to identify missing drivers yourself and explicitly install them. From your description this is unlikely to be needed. I'd expect it if there is a chipset change between machines... where a proprietary chipset is indicated.

I won't lay bets on nvidia, because there is no telling what the driver will do and it likes to have its own xorg.conf ... that would be a matter of rerunning their configuration program if needed.

I'm only hedging because I cannot actually see your machine. As always, make a backup before you try. But I'm sure nothing will go wrong.
 
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:02 AM   #5
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bridge View Post
...
you have to identify missing drivers yourself and explicitly install them. From your description this is unlikely to be needed. I'd expect it if there is a chipset change between machines... where a proprietary chipset is indicated.
...
Ah, Ha! This seems to call for some time with diffuse and the output from sysinfo, hwinfo or similar. Then I would see detailed differences at the chipset level. (Dunno why I've not done that before.)

Cheers,
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
Old 09-27-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
Simon Bridge
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
Ah, Ha! This seems to call for some time with diffuse and the output from sysinfo, hwinfo or similar. Then I would see detailed differences at the chipset level. (Dunno why I've not done that before.)

Cheers,
~~~ 0;-Dan
Almost nobody does. Really this is a case of try it and see.
 
Old 10-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #7
SaintDanBert
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MODERATORS: Please!? Could someone merge this thread into

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...laptop-836830/

Thanks,
~~~ 0;-Dan
 
  


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