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Given an installation based on Yum (specifically in my case, a Scientific Linux 5.1 x86_64 installation), how would I duplicate the installed programs and utilities to a new machine based on Fedora Core x86_64? The hardware is very similar but not identical, and there's the obvious difference that SL5 is based on EL, not on Fedora; I'm largely aiming to duplicate the user experience from the original box (SL) to the new box (FC).

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just a side note in case you don't know it already: you can get the list of programs to install on the new system, then copy over the settings in your home folder (files and directories whose names start with a .) – phunehehe Aug 11 '10 at 6:25
Just be careful about version mismatches. I've wrecked settings due to configuration incompatibilities in my home directory doing that. Typically it works ok migrating to newer versions, but there are occasional difficulties. – Matt Simmons Aug 11 '10 at 10:17
up vote 12 down vote accepted

You can create a list of the installed software with:

$ rpm -qa > installed-software.log

Since they are based on different distros, I am not sure how you would do the install.

If I was copying it to a fresh install of the same distro, I would run the following command as root

# yum -y install $(cat /home/user/installed-software.log)
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Get list of installed RPMs on your RHEL box:

yum list installed |tail -n +3|cut -d' ' -f1 > installed_packages.txt

Install packages onto Fedora:

yum -y install $(cat installed_packages.txt)

Note: Fedora is the R&D project for RHEL and you should be able to install most of these packages in Fedora.

Steves method lists version numbers and you want to avoid that.

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Fedora is a distribution on its own terms, with an aggressive stance of being the first with the best of open source/free software. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a very conservative distribution, almost the dimetral oposite. Red Hat takes (selected packages of) a version of Fedora and after stabilization and QA cuts Red Hat Enterprise Linux from it. To call Fedora "an R&D project" is as wrong as saying that Debian does R&D for Fedora (yes, Fedora does take patches and even complete packages from Debian, and viceversa). – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 14:40

You can try Kickstart or you may want to set up a PXE install/boot server for multiple distros. Or if some of your machines are diskless you can try LTPS method (this is what is generally called - thin client - IIRC), also see here

EDIT: If that's the case see this

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I think the question was more asking how to get a list of installed apps on one box/distro and install them on another box/distro, rather than an automated way of doing installs. – Frozenskys Aug 10 '10 at 21:22
The latter is correct, and was exactly what I needed. – Wesley Burr Aug 10 '10 at 22:06

Whoa whoa whoa

First, you have an RHEL-based source (Scientific Linux). You can't just go from there to a Fedora based system without giving up something (namely reliability).

First question: Why do you want to go with Fedora?

Second question: If this is for a server, ask yourself the first question again...are you the answer to that question isn't "well, maybe I can use Scientific Linux or CentOS"?

Assuming that this machine isn't going to be used for anything important, you can get a list of the installed programs by running 'yum list installed' and making sure the same packages are installed (although you probably won't get the same versions. Fedora is much more cavalier about things like that).

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I'm happy to give up the reliability for the ability to access updated software packages, mostly desktop based (i.e. Firefox). The machine(s) are local desktops, not servers, so the reliability issue is entirely irrelevant. Fedora is also used by the labs in the building, so when I hand off control of the machines to the IT guy, I'm more comfortable knowing he will be comfortable with the setup. – Wesley Burr Aug 11 '10 at 2:47
As long as you know what you're getting yourself into. You've checked the support lifetime of the Fedora releases, right? Also, stability /does/ have a place on the desktop, I would argue. – Matt Simmons Aug 11 '10 at 7:38
@WesleyBurr, Fedora and SL administration is not that different... – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 14:41
@MattSimmons, the fabled Fedora instability is just that, a myth. It has worked rock solid for me the last 3 or so years (modulo hickups with self-compiled kernels and nVidia graphics cards). A very polished Gnome 3 desktop, and being able to use the lastest and greatest in open source is very nice too. Had to upgrade my Fedora 16 to Fedora 18 recently, and even that went flawlessly (even with my idiosyncratic setup with unofficial repositories for TeXlive, separate /usr, and assorted self-compiled stuff that I had to recompile). Minimal manual intervention required for both steps. – vonbrand Mar 15 '13 at 14:46

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