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I have a virtual version of Ubuntu running in VirtualBox. Currently I have lots of personal information in it. I want to share the virtual image disk with other developers, but I don't want them to be able to get all my personal info. What should I make sure to delete before distributing this vm to other developers? I deleted all old projects and cleared all browser history. What else should I do?

  • Sharing the whole VM is not a good idea. Instead, you should be able to build a fresh VM and copy just those things into it that you want to share. If you can't reproduce your development environment, you're in trouble anyway... – Hans-Martin Mosner Jul 22 '16 at 21:35
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The most obvious place for personal information is under /home, but there may be private information elsewhere, such as:

  • In logs (IP addresses, email addresses, etc.)
  • In email (/var/mail)
  • In the printer spooler (/var/spool/cups)
  • Under /etc (e.g. network configuration)
  • In deleted files that can be carved out of the disk image
  • (This is not an exhaustive list!)

Rather than scrubbing the existing installation, it would be best to reproduce a fresh installation, without inputting any private data. Use apt-clone to reproduce the package installation. If you installed software manually, copy /opt or /usr/local or /var/www or /srv (if you installed software manually in other locations, you did it wrong, so do it right this time). If you made any modification under /etc you'll need to reproduce those; hopefully you used etckeeper to keep track of them (if you didn't keep track of them, you have a problem: how do you remember what you changed, to look for issues?).

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