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Old 07-14-2015, 04:19 PM   #1
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transfering Desktop Linux OS to Laptop; what is best way?

Hello, I currently have 3 workstations that I would like to move to a laptop. Reason I would like to do that is, power consumption. I plan on adding SAN storage to these laptops and mounting then, or just a normal external hard drive. I need constant back ups and constantly doing rsync scripts, so my best best to save my electric bill would be laptops since they use up less watt.

Anyhow, what would be the best way to move my entire OS from Workstation A to Laptop A? What would be the proper steps. I do not mind doing some research, but a good step would be good or a hint in commands to use

thank you!!

*** or can I just use clonezilla and move them over that way?>
Old 07-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
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First question would be what distro and version and primary appplications are running on the workstations, and what the main hardware of those are.

Next, the hardware is obviously going to be far different on the laptops, and if the laptops are much newer than the workstations you will likely need a newer OS version to support it.

So my initial thoughts would be that it would be simpler to install a current Linux of your choice on the laptops and then configure and migrate data as required to replace the workstation functional requirements.
Old 07-14-2015, 05:01 PM   #3
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Astrogeek's got it right...

You don't want to try migrating the entire OS over to the laptop(s). You can just install the Linux OS you want on the laptop(s) and migrate the /home partition accounts over (I wouldn't keep the same user names & user IDs, though,... that could be trouble).

If you try migrating the entire OS over, you run the (very likely) risk that you just won't get it to boot... Keep in mind; HD volumes are designated specifically in the fstab on modern distros. You can't just move the images over and expect the fstab to properly ID partitions from the old machine. On top of that, you likely have the OS (automatically) configured for particular hardware (besides the HDs). Some of the hardware is likely not to just be picked up as a change that a generic kernel can just deal with...
Old 07-14-2015, 05:22 PM   #4
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I used Clonezilla via network - it worked for me. I would suggest to install you box'es OS'es as virtual guests, assuming you have
enough pwerful laptops, this way you may spare some room, you can all three old box systems on
one laptop.

Installing as virtual guest should cause less troubles, mind that you may have hardware issues.
Old 07-14-2015, 07:52 PM   #5
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Why a laptop ?. What about something like a NUC ?.
Another option I'm looking at is to put a small, quiet ARM based processor in for owncloud, IM and file sync'ing.
Probably passive cooling, so only a quad-core.
Old 07-15-2015, 11:39 AM   #6
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NUC are more expensive then a laptop? Well, planning to get used laptops and just boot up Ubuntu on it. Unless they sell NUC kits that is under 150 with at least 2gb ram and 80GB memory. I was just planning to add 2TB SAN storages with hot swap drives. connected to each of these laptops.

or would you say workstations that run linux dont really waste that much power?
Old 07-15-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
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I tend to just rsync the / filesystem to an SDHC card + reader or a usb stick. While running another usb booted linux. Change /etc/fstab to match it's new location. Then chroot to it and install and configure the boot loader or use the boot loader off the other usb bootable distro. Be careful to use UUID's or LABELS, and not /dev/ names and it should be bootable. Most computers (x86) support booting from USB since 2006-ish.

...mount stuff...
# cd /mnt/from/
# rsync -aRXv ./* /mnt/to/
...other admin stuff...

As long as it's not the currently running distro you can skip the complicated --exclude=... lists. There are quirks though, like eth0 bumping up to eth1 if you don't take other steps. And you'll need network and video drivers that match the new system.

And yes, NUCs are way over priced. Once you add RAM and storage to make a usable computer. At least with chromebooks, hp streams, and the "used" laptops on the market. Plus laptops have built in UPS's from certain POV. Fanless, low heat, I can't say I miss the old desktop machine that kept my room +10F over the rest of the house. Plus I sleep a lot better in silence. A long as the rest of the world isn't conspiring against me during my sleep unschedule.


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