[arch-general] migrating Arch to a new machine - what config to keep

Kwpolska kwpolska at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 15:00:38 EST 2012

On Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 11:34:39PM +0800, Marek Otahal wrote:
> * I'll do pacman -Qe > installed.txt (on the old one), pacman -S
> $((cat installed.txt)) (on new)

That isn’t likely to work right.  You should use your favorite AUR
helper for this, because this list contains AUR packages, too.

> For other directories: /boot - nothing, /var - I dont care about old
> logs, is there anything else important?

You may have some useful stuff (eg. databases) in /var.  And copying
over /var/cache/pacman/pkg may be a good idea to speed up the

> /etc ... some files (related to hw) changed, but many (wifi,
> iptables, cron, security, ...) stay ...is it possible to copy/merge
> them in a smart way? Or I have to go through all the configuration?

Go through a diff of both /etc’s and merge them by hand.  That is the
safest way.

> I read this one:
> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Migrate_installation_to_new_hardware
> and basically I'd like to elaborate on how to merge the configs in
> /etc (or else?)

As I said: by hand is the safest way.  If you make a non-human do it,
you may end up without your kitten.

PS. I did my migration back in February, from a system converted from
i686 to x86_64 on an ext4 partition converted from ext3 (I am
serious.)  It went like this:

dd if=/dev/sda2 of=/dev/sdb2 # /
dd if=/dev/sda5 of=/dev/sdb5 # /home
grub-install /dev/sdb        # configured for (hd0,1); GRUB1.

Kwpolska <http://kwpolska.tk>
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