:: Re: [DNG] moving to a new system
Top Page
Delete this message
Reply to this message
Author: Marjorie Roome
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] moving to a new system

On Fri, 2022-06-24 at 09:05 -0500, o1bigtenor via Dng wrote:
> Greetings
> Hoping that I'm not asking too many questions.
> (moving from debian testing to devuan testing (daedalus)
> the old system is under 5.17.xx and the new one is on 5.18
> if that makes for differences)
> (I've learnt the hard way that just winging things means a LOT more
> work and even a greater chance for issues.)
> My existing system has been a work in progress for over 10 years. So
> I've gotten things set up quite the way that I like them so things
> change slowly but in that there are also less 'terror' moments when
> everything has gone 'goofy'.
> Is there any way to move over things like settings (and all the other
> pamphernania) for browsers and libreoffice and the like?
> I was thinking of doing things by using scp from the old system to
> the new one.
> Dunno if that would create issues or not.
> Any better ideas - - - - well I'm all ears!!!

I'm assuming, from your previous questions, that your are installing on
entirely new hardware, including disks.

You are also 'upgrading' from Debian to Devuan :-) I think that you can
do that in two ways:
(1) Replicate your existing system on the new hardware, maybe with a
different disk/partition structure from what you have now. And then
upgrade to Devuan.

2) Use one the existing Devuan Chimaera installers to set up your new
system on your new hardware, then upgrade that to Daedelus as I don't
think there aren any official Devuan Daedelus installers yet.
If you install your existing DE (XFCE, Cinnamon, etc.) that will also
install all its standard packages (filemanager, mail program, etc.).
You would then need to install any additional programs/packages you use
and remove any you don't want and copy over your existing /home and
/etc directories (/etc should contain the *system* config. files for
your programs, ones specific to you as a user will be in /home).

If you do (1) then you'll obviously have to have a 'live' OS running on
the new machine first to do the transfer, though that could be on a
USB, installed from a USB into RAM, on a portable backup drive that
hosts a live OS or temporarily installed on a partition.

There are a two ways of doing the transfers: either 
(1) directly over your network (and rsync) or
(2) indirectly using a portable backup drive (back up on your existing
system , then restore on the new one.

With (2) you can either use a partition backup tool, such as fsarchiver
or a standard file backup tool, such as rsync or duplicity. Fsarchiver
can backup and restore whole partitions (with optional compression),
doesn't backup empty file space and can restore to a different

If your partition schemes don't match (you have suggested you might
want a lot of them, though the temp directories won't need to be moved
over) then you may be better using a file based transfer.