I have a EC2 and Digital Ocean servers and I want to re-create them locally (same config files and everything). By local I mean virtual box (vagrant).

I had started out by managing them with Chef but had to go around that for a while (time crunched). My Chef recipes are no longer synced with the servers.

Any way I can reverse engineer this? I tried blueprint but wasn't able to get it to install the apps right.

1 Answer 1


If all else fails, there's the old fashioned way - On Ubuntu or debian,use dpkg --get-selections to dump out a list of installed packages, and install them with dpkg --set-selections. The equivalent of this for red hat based distros is yum-debug-dump and yum-debug-restore (optionally with --install-latest).

Create the same users as the source system if necessary - cat /etc/passwd should list them out, and you can check with diff to see if the two lists are identical.

Then use rsync to duplicate your /etc/ folder for settings, various /home/ folders for users (and check permissions here) and other folders like /var/www/. Test, make sure everything's there and working, and starting up as needed, and you're done. Takes me less time than to set up a fresh server.

Sometimes, the old, simple ways are the best. If you work this out manually, simply write a script that will replicate this off your current server automatically.

  • 1
    Thanks! I'll try to hack this together. I tried the dpkg --set-selections command and seems to work.
    – iDev247
    Sep 23, 2013 at 3:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.