I finally managed to make a bootable clone of my old and new systems (I moved from Ubuntu 10.04 to Xubuntu 12.04). It was important to me to be able to boot the clone with the original system drive still installed, so I had to modify the UUIDs, etc/fstab, and /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/resume, and then perform update-initramfs, grub-install and update-grub on the clone.
So keeping my documents up-to-date should be simple with Grsync. I think that should work for /home to capture any setting changes.
But... what about /root? Seems like if I get updated to a new kernel on the running system, that will cause changes to some boot files, over-writing the UUID changes on the clone when I Grsync, making my clone un-bootable. If I exclude those boot files, I won't get the kernel update (right?).
Is there any alternative to the fstab & resume file edits, and the update-initramfs, grub-install, and update-grub dance? I'm making lots of changes as I set up my system, so I want to back up the system/config frequently for now. I'm considering making a script to automate that (but I have little scripting experience). Or am I missing the boat somewhere?