I have a ubuntu server 64-bit that needs to be migrated out of a broken desktop hardware. I have a lot of things installed over there so my goal is to avoid having to install all software one-by-one in the new server. What I would like to do is take a snapshot of what I have in that machine and transfer the whole thing, in a single step to the Amazon cloud. Like taking an image of my system and transporting to another hardware so I get the exact same thing running in the new hardware.

Is that possible? How?

Thanks very much. My desktop is booting that's why I am kind of desperate to do this.

  • Have you considered the benefits of starting over with a fresh system? You can then only install what you absolutely need and realize you didn't need as much as you thought you would. It also has the side benefit of a clean system without junk. – TheLQ Jul 13 '11 at 1:17
  • The problem is when you have 100 things installed there. It will take a month to remember and migrate everything. :-( – TraderJoeChicago Jul 13 '11 at 1:24
  • Are you sure you want a single system doing all of that? If those programs cover everything from Reverse proxying to turning on your microwave it seems like its doing to much. Just a suggestion though – TheLQ Jul 13 '11 at 1:27

There are two options I can see:

  1. Create a loopback file locally, copy (or hardlink?) key folders into the new file system then bundle that as an AMI
  2. Launch a new EC2 instance and just rsync stuff into it (probably easiest, especially if your machine continually reboots)
  • Will rsynch copy configuration as well? I have a bunch of software installed in this machine. Will that be moved as well? And what do I have to rsynch? Everything staring from '/' ? I don't want to have to remember all the 100 programs and utilities I installed in that server. It will be impossible. – TraderJoeChicago Jul 13 '11 at 1:02
  • Also it looks like you are talking about copying files. This is clearly what I don't want. I want to copy STATE, not just flat files. There are a lot of things installed in this machine and I want this STATE to be transfered to the other machine. That's why I think I need an IMAGE copy, something like a snapshot. – TraderJoeChicago Jul 13 '11 at 3:21
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    The only thing on your filesystem is files. Where do you think STATE is? – sciurus Jul 13 '11 at 3:34
  • Yeah, but if you copy a file without the other files scattered through your system, then it does NOT work, agree? So you have to copy EVERYTHING, the whole image. Have you seen what Apple does when you buy a new Mac? The whole thing is copied and the system is the same as the old one, no differences and everything pre-installed works. – TraderJoeChicago Jul 13 '11 at 3:44
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    Yes my answer is about copying files rather than "state". All the configuration is likely in files on the filesystem, if you don't know where they are then my answer won't help, sorry. Copying the disk image, using dd say, may not work as that would include additional "state" that is specific to the machine you are running on, processor architecture, drivers etc, that may not work on an EC2 instance. – BenM Jul 13 '11 at 15:43

You could first migrate it to VM Ware ESX with VM Ware Converter - here is how. Then you can move the server to Amazon with VM Import Connector.

Disclaimer: I haven't try it.

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