Can I move Linux from running on a USB to a hard drive partition?

Can I move Linux from running on a USB to a hard drive partition?

I’m working on helping my brother with a project. He has been running Lubuntu Linux from a USB drive while he was setting up some server and web projects (proof of concept). Now that he has the official OK from his company to roll it out, he would like to transfer the OS that resides on the USB to a partition on his hard drive, so he can avoid having to reconfigure everything on a clean install. Neither of us has cloned a Linux install before, so I’m not sure where to start or if this type of clone/move is even possible.

1 Answer

Linux is easily cloned because it doesn’t depend on hard drive sector placements to boot. What you will need:

  1. Backup your computer AND your USB drive.
  2. Create your partition table with at least one Linux-compatible file system
  3. Boot from a live CD and rsync your system from the USB drive. (Don’t boot from the USB in question).
  4. Edit your /etc/fstab to reflect your new drive configuration.
  5. chroot into your new system and set up grub as your boot manager.
  6. Reboot.

I won’t go into detail on each of these steps because it’s a risky procedure and you need to do your research on this yourself. At any rate, do your backups! Did I mention you need to create backups first?

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