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Thread: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

  1. #1
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    Exclamation How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    Hi:
    I want to know if there is a utility that allows to create an iso (image) file of your currently running system, so that you can then, make a start up disk and further install it on other machines. Thanks.

    Mi system is:

    williepabon@williepabon-Macmini:~$ uname -a
    Linux williepabon-Macmini 5.4.0-56-generic #62-Ubuntu SMP Mon Nov 23 19:20:19 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
    williepabon@williepabon-Macmini:~$ lsb_release -crid
    Distributor ID: Ubuntu
    Description: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS
    Release: 20.04
    Codename: focal
    Mac mini 16 Gig ram: Intel Core i7-3720QM CPU @ 2.60 Ghz x8; OS; OS X 10.15.3 Catalina, Dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS(Focal Fossa 64bit)

  2. #2
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    I want to know if there is a utility that allows to create an iso (image) file of your currently running system, so that you can then, make a start up disk and further install it on other machines.
    No, there isn't.

    There are tools to "remix" a standard installation ISO and add software and/or different/personalized settings. That's how pretty much all derivatives from a given distro are make.
    In any case this isn't done from an already installed system.
    An already installed system can, for specific purposes, be "cloned" to an image file (ISO) or directly to another drive. Generally not useful if the cloned drive is intended to be booted in different hardware. It is a valid method to retrieve the OS as is when replacing a system drive but other than that running in the same hardware.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    You can boot to the live USB / CD desktop and make an ISO of the unmounted file system to another file system which is mounted read/write

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    You might want to research Clonezilla

    https://clonezilla.org/

    I have not used it myself. I can give no advice on what mistakes not to make. I am not sure if using Clonezilla to clone a drive with Ubuntu on it will produce a startup disc or just give you an image file of the original disc that you will then need to restore onto the other machines. I know that an image file can be restored onto a USB memory stick but that will not make it a startup disc.

    Regards


    https://clonezilla.org/
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  5. #5
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    I've cloned the drives of both my laptops using ddrescue ("sudo apt install gddrescue"). I connected a blank SSD drive of equivalent size to the machine with a USB/SATA converter, then ran ddrescue. Replacing the original drive with the clone worked flawlessly, booting up in the machine itself. I suspect the clone wouldn't work in another machine with different hardware, but I've never tried.
    If you ask for help, do not abandon your request. Please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

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  6. #6
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    I may be wrong but the use of blockID and also various "MAC" addresses prevents
    what you and I would like to do
    Now that most installation media is rw it would already be nice if they were updated.
    automatically.
    Even to reinstall on the same machine I have yet to see an OS that reminds you
    that after each "security" update all your backups are obsolete.
    A good reason to limit the size of the root partition.
    A tip is to store frequently updated programs and data on a NAS
    It works fine in Windows and with the appimage format for Linux.
    My NAS is samba only so I'm limited on the Linux side.
    Happy user of Ubuntu-20.04 on a Beelink BT3pro mini PC

  7. #7
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    hk42:

    My thoughts on this project is that I should be able to create a Live usb stick of my running system, so that if go to a different machine I could be able run it from the stick, or install it on the new machine if I so choose. I'm no developer, but assume that this should be possible.
    Mac mini 16 Gig ram: Intel Core i7-3720QM CPU @ 2.60 Ghz x8; OS; OS X 10.15.3 Catalina, Dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS(Focal Fossa 64bit)

  8. #8
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    I use Gnome-Disks on a Live USB to make an IMG file of a drive.
    I can then flash it to another drive using Rufus, Etcher, Win32DiskImager, Disks, dd or mkusb.
    The IMG file can be reduced in size using "truncate" and 7Zip xz compression.

    You can create a Full install USB using the IMG file and then put a copy of the IMG file on a NTFS data partition on the drive ready to install on the first available computer.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    C.S. Cameron:

    Thank you very much for your of ideas on how to do this project. It looks somewhat complicated to me due to my limited technical knowledge. First, I would need to be educated on how to create an *.iso file with gnome-disks. Is it possible to use the app to create an *,iso file of a partition instead of the whole drive (my ubuntu system resides in a partition on a Mac hard drive)? As I said previously, my idea (if this is possible) is to have an *.iso (that is essentially a snapshot) of my current system, use this file with the start up disk creator tool from ubuntu to create a Live (bootable) usb stick that I could use to, either run it or install in another machine. I don't know if this could be done with Ubuntu, but I'm assuming that it may be possible. Thanks again for your insights.
    Mac mini 16 Gig ram: Intel Core i7-3720QM CPU @ 2.60 Ghz x8; OS; OS X 10.15.3 Catalina, Dual boot with Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS(Focal Fossa 64bit)

  10. #10
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    Re: How to create snapshot (iso) of current running system to be installed in others

    Have a look at isomaster:

    ISO Master is an open-source, easy to use, graphical CD image editor for Linux and BSD. Basically you can use this program to extract files from an ISO, add files to an ISO, and create bootable ISOs - all in a graphical user interface. It can open both ISO and NRG files but can only save as ISO.
    I've only used it to add files to an iso. It may or may not be what you are looking for. It's in the Ubuntu repositories.

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