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

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?).

| improve this answer | |

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.