I'm using ubuntu since 2007/8 and still I use the same system with upgrading it. I'm not a person who good in linux but developing under linux. Now I want to format the system and re install a new, but I need the previous (currently using) ubuntu system as a backup and, whenever I need that, I want to install it as a regular OS. how can I do it?

Anything appreciate.

Thank you!

  • This is a bit confusing. You need your previous installation which you want to wipe to stay? Why do you want to wipe it?
    – Karlson
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 14:24
  • I agree with @Karlson, this is confusing. If you want the old OS and want to install another one, have you explored Dual Booting?
    – user14517
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 14:26

3 Answers 3


You could use Clonezilla to create image of your disk or partition and store that images on some drive or DVD. Clonezilla is LiveCD that allows you create image and restore it any time.

In this answer you could find more details about Clonezilla.


Debian and Ubuntu have a package called bootcd whose description seems to answer your question, though I never used it:

 Build an image of your running Debian System with the command bootcdwrite.
 You can also build a bootcd ISO image via NFS on a remote System.
 When you run your system from CD you do not need any disks. All
 changes will be done in ram. To reuse this changes at next boot time
 you can save them on FLOPPY with the command bootcdflopcp. If booting
 from your CD-drive is not supported, booting from FLOPPY is possible.
 It is possible to install a new system from the running CD with the
 command bootcd2disk. Bootcd2disk can also find a target disk, format
 it and make it bootable automatically. Bootcd also supports lilo,
 grub, initrd, udev, lvm, transparent-compression ISO 9660 fs and
 syslinux/isolinux. The included FAQ describes how bootcd can do
 online or offline backups of other Linux distributions, resulting
 in restore-bootcds. The bootcdbackupwizard helps to create online


If you want to install the same system as you have with the same configuration, you can do this steps:

1) On the old system:

dpkg --get-selections | grep -v 'deinstall' > selections

And you will have to save everything in /etc

2) On the new system:

Install very basic system without any additional services. Then do this:

dpkg --set-selections < selections
apt-get -u dselect-upgrade

And then you have to overwrite /etc directory with the files from old computer. But you can do this package-to-package values. You can try do diff between old and new /etc and do changes from one file to another one - you will better know your system... :-)

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