Create ISO from Installed System (to install on another machine)

I just found another really old laptop.
Just to play around I would like to make an ISO of my current installed system (including all installed software, configurations and data if possible) to avoid making a fresh install and doing it allover again!

Can I:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/home/limo/limotux.iso

to get a bootable ISO I can dd it to a flash disk to boot from and install on the other laptop?
Is it OK to create my new ISO on my /home?


/dev/sda isn’t a bootable iso file. this will not work.

The link might be interesting

Yes, interesting. But it does not seem to keep configuration of each installed app. (maybe some configs will not be on my /home)

By the way, this is my lsblk

[limo@lenovo ~]$ lsblk -e7
sda      8:0    0 232.9G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0   300M  0 part /boot/efi
└─sda2   8:2    0 232.6G  0 part /var/log
sdb      8:16   1     0B  0 disk 
sr0     11:0    1  1024M  0 rom  
[limo@lenovo ~]$ 

Why wouldn’t it be bootable?
I have seen this dd way on some websites.
I guess there is a command, just a command to do it!

What about this

I am not familiar with the process of how an iso is bootable, but some settings that make an iso bootable are missing.

there is the possibility to migrate to another hardware.

Edit: the iso in the posted link isn’t bootable and it’s Ubuntu.

That’s just a guide how to make an ISO image file. Not how to make an ISO image of a live, bootable OS.

That would just get you a copy of your device. Maybe better to call it “limotux.img”; img stands for image. You could then reverse this process and write the image to another device with dd. In effect you would be creating and restoring a copy/backup (“cloning”).
In fact, dd is one of the methods backup software like Clonezilla for example use to copy/write a disk/partition.

The image won’t be bootable on it’s own.
In my personal opinion, you’re making this more complicated than it needs to be. What you’re trying to accomplish is the cloning of a device. Software to do just this has been around for ages.

For example,

  1. just download “Clonezilla Live”, create a booable USB, CD, whatever
  2. boot it and create and store an image of your device
  3. write (restore) this image to another device
    Alternatively you can also directly clone a device to another attached device without storing an image.

You see, the image itself doesn’t need to be bootable. :wink:


Not at all. I was hoping to do with a single command or two.

Just still trying to learn more from the experts.

If I installed from the downloaded ISO,
What if I dd the image after that? Would this clone the old macine?

This is my recommendation:

  • Create an ESP and a Linux partition on your external drive with MBR instead of GPT
  • rsync your Linux install to external drive
  • Install GRUB in both BIOS and UEFI mode. BIOS installation is no different than doing to an installed system, you should use --removable flag for UEFI installation.
    With this way, your installation will be cloned. It won’t be live / immutable, though.

Thank you very much for your feed back.

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