Cloning a Debian server

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Cloning a server an be necessary for various reasons, e.g. due to hardware failures and upgrades as well as after hacker attacks. Notice that in order to clone a server using the method described below, you need access to the server that you want to clone. Hence, it is a good idea to take the steps described below BEFORE a machine crashes or is compromised.

Installing packages

On the server that you wish to clone, you have get a list of installed packages:

$ dpkg --get-selections > packages_selected.txt

The machine on which you want to install the server clone has to be up and ready to receive a Debian fresh installation. Find a [1]] Debian installation image and install a minimal system. Copy the file containing the package selections (packages_selected.txt) to the newly installed system and:

$ cat packages_selected.txt | dpkg --set-selections 

This will selected the packages that were selected on the server you want to clone. In order to actually install the packages run:

$ dselect

And choose "Install". Don't worry too much about the various configuration options as you are likely going to overwrite during the configuation cloning.

Cloning the configuration

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