I'm wondering how I can persist my perfect configured desktop system.

I have - installed a fresh new debian - installed all my applications and tools I need (from vim to eclipse) - override my systems bashrc/-.profile etc - installed and configured my wm (fluxbox and themes)

So now this was a lot of work and Im looking for a way to "save" /export that state. I want to be able to recover my system after a reinstall or dublicate it (in case of using it in VMs).

I was thinking of exporting the list of installed packages as well as some dot-files but im not sure, that this is the best choice. What would you recomend?


If you did it correctly then all your changes are in your $HOME. Just copy that $HOME folder around and your done.

If you don't want to copy the entire folder then ~/.local/config is a good place to start, but your better off just copying over the entire folder.

  • Sounds too easy somehow :D So you mean I can than simply reinstall a fresh debian and just copy and override the backuped home-directory on my new system? – Marc M May 24 '16 at 23:33
  • Yep. 123456789012345 – coteyr May 24 '16 at 23:49
  • I know this is getting ole, but I'm trying to do something similar. This is an actual question, not a criticism... What about the installed apps, like vim, etc? Their modified settings are in the home directory, but not the programs themselves, or their global settings. – Marty Fried Sep 6 '16 at 19:02
  • You should never modify global settings for applications. Instead you should modify your user's settings. With that said, when you need a program just reinstall it. The setting will be picked up from $HOME. If your really want to dpkg --get-selections > ~/Package.list then sudo dpkg --set-selections < ~/Package.list See askubuntu.com/questions/9135/… – coteyr Sep 6 '16 at 20:31

A list of installed packages and dotfiles in your home is a good bet.

The management of dotfiles is a sort of art, check


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