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I have a fully configured VPS where every service relevant to my customers and to me is provided in abstraction from the underlay hardware; that is: the softwares for webserver, PHP, forums, and every other service provided by the VPS over the network are independent from its hardware, and in no way hardware is relevant to me.

Now, I happened to need to "move" the VPS to a new one with totally different hardware. That's been a disaster. What I'm exclusively interested in is, of course, to move every relevant service to the new server, and forget about hardware and lowlevel stuff.

My failed attempt consisted of a rsync of /home /root /etc and /var between the servers. This destroyed APT (OS version was exactly the same, Debian 6.0.x) and changed lowlevel settings such as the list of filesystems mounted at boot.

Is there a solution to perform such an hardware-independent backup?

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