Create identical computers

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Ilan
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Create identical computers

Post by Ilan » Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:10 am

Hi,
'I have 2 Linux mint computers which I want them to be as identical as possible.
(not only my files but also all the installations etc.)
I don't work on the same time on both computers so if the
clone has to be manually i can handle that (even though I prefer it to be automatic)
Thanks,
Ilan

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Boca
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by Boca » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:41 am

Hi,
i use Dropbox and/or Syncthing to share files between my several machines; the machines have different setups though.

Hope this helps,

Tony

deepakdeshp
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by deepakdeshp » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:09 am

You can clone the machine using Clonezilla
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 19.2 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB

ralplpcr
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by ralplpcr » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:20 am

Are you talking about a one-time synchronization, or some way to *keep* them "as identical as possible"? Those end up being very different things, and would require quite different actions to set up.

If you mean just a one-time synchronization, then yes - something like Clonezilla would be the easiest. You could use dropbox or some other FTP site, or even a USB key to keep your files in synch. Over time, the systems themselves would likely fall out of synch due to system updates, making adjustments on one that you'd forget to do on the other, etc.

If you mean keeping them completely in synch permanently, there would be a good bit of setup required, depending on the route you go. I think the only way to keep them totally in synch would be some form of cloning. It's possible to set up a script that would automatically keep a set of folders synched up or a database, but I'm not sure if there's a way to keep 2 computers fully in-synch as far as updates, desktop settings, etc without cloning.

May we inquire as to why you'd want this? Personally, it seems to me that if you're trying to keep 2 systems entirely in synch, it's for the sake of familiarity. If that's the case, you may wish to consider setting up a *single* machine, and then setting up a remote connection so that you can connect into it from wherever you need.

TI58C
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by TI58C » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:37 pm

EDITED Firefox exception


Hi Ilan,

Interesting. Am writing this on old 17.3 laptop, have installed new mint 19.1 on another. Am in process of getting them to be as exactly alike as possible.
Will be working on both machines for a while, then ny niece will be happy with this old box for school (runnin windhoze, tears).

Would advise against using clonezilla for this purpose. Why ? Well first of all, have tried in the past. Worked ! Or didn't. And I think that is logical.

The systems may differ in hardware. That means that things (files) like graphic drivers etc. also will be different on the two machines. And overwriting that stuff with a non hardware-compliant clone is very counter-productive. For that same reason I would also not use timeshift made on one box to be transported to another.

So what you effectively want is to synchronize
- possibly added PPA's
- installed packages
- home directory (your choice whether with or without all the hidden config dirs in your home-dir that is those files starting with a dot ".")

If you can do that, you can even keep 2 very different mint versions like 17.3 and 19.1 "synchronized", even though one is running all kinds of newer programs as compared to the old one. That is why I never copy hidden config dirs in ~. EDIT: except the firefox profile. The boxes can and must be different, yet are the same. Same personal data just older/newer versions of the same packages/programs.
EDIT: I always used pdftk. but install failed. No longer in the standard repositories. Never mind..qpdf offers same functionality.. That's about it.


PPA's:
working on something along the line described here : https://askubuntu.com/questions/148932/ ... ne-into-an To transport added ppa's from old machine to new one. For now, just did this maually

Packages:
You might use Aptik. I have migrated all necessary packages from old box to new one with method here:viewtopic.php?f=90&t=291485

Home dir
First i used USB-stick and midnight comander (package mc) to compare dirs. Effectively meant that temporarily, my USB-stick was the "master copy" of my homedir. Both laptops were sychronized with this master-USB-stick But that is a lot of hassle.

Have bash script I used for something like this in the past. Will find/adapt and post link
more or less was doing this:

use find to find all files in/below home-dir
get date/time and md5sum of each file
do so at a later time again
compare two lists as to filename + md5sum
results in long list of all files, each file marked with one of 4 possibillities:
- deleted
- added
- same (same name + same md5)
- changed (same name but different md5 = Keep latest one =always in latest file-list

Was written to keep track of all changes in my home-dir over time but might just be used for this. Would have to adapt to keep newest of files if found on both machines because in this case it is not list old<->new, but list computer A <-> computer B

More later

Robert
Last edited by TI58C on Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
Linux is like my late labrador lady-dog: loyal and loving if you treat her lady-like, disbehaving princess if you don't.

Ilan
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by Ilan » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:07 pm

Thanks Robert
It looks like that what I needed.
Basically I do not have to transfer my home directory because I syncronize it using google drive.
I think the only thing that I needed to know is how to transfer the information
about the new installations and install it on the other computer.
You answered about that and I will try it.
Ilan

TI58C
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by TI58C » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:21 pm

OK,

Good hunting

Robert
Linux is like my late labrador lady-dog: loyal and loving if you treat her lady-like, disbehaving princess if you don't.

deepakdeshp
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by deepakdeshp » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:56 pm

With Clonezilla there are good chances that it will work. It's the kernel that provides most of the drivers hece the Clone may work. Can be tested quickly. Both should be either 32 or 64 bits. 64 bit clone won't work on a 32 bit machine.
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 19.2 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB

TI58C
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Re: Create identical computers

Post by TI58C » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:04 pm

deepakdeshp wrote:
Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:56 pm
With Clonezilla there are good chances that it will work. It's the kernel that provides most of the drivers hece the Clone may work. Can be tested quickly. Both should be either 32 or 64 bits. 64 bit clone won't work on a 32 bit machine.
Yes, I agree. Chances are would work.

Still, I think that method of synching home-dir and packages is more ""pure" and has less chance of inducing all kinds of hardware/driver problems when moving from one system to another. Certainly if -as in my case- you want to ""sync" 17.3 box with 19.1 box. In this case, using clonezilla really is asking for trouble.

Robert
Linux is like my late labrador lady-dog: loyal and loving if you treat her lady-like, disbehaving princess if you don't.

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