moving linux around

Doran L. Barton fozz at
Sun Oct 26 00:17:29 MDT 2008

Not long ago, Andres Gonzalez proclaimed...
> Can I take a hard drive that has linux installed on it, and use it on a  
> different mobo, without having to install linux again?

For the most part, yes. It's certainly a lot easier than it is with
Winbloze where you've got all sorts of roadblocks built into the OS that
are tied to a signature of the hardware.

What could you have trouble with? My most frequent problem is drivers for
SATA or SCSI controllers. If you move the hard disk from a system that has,
say, a NVidia SATA controller to a system that has a Silicon Image SATA
controller, the initial RAMdisk image (initrd), which contains kernel
modules to load at boot time, will not have the right modules for your

While this is tragic, in a sense, a boot into Fedora rescue mode will fix
the problem. You just have to build a new initial RAMdisk image for the
kernel with the mkinitrd command. 

Another problem, also related to disks and booting, is the BIOS disk order.
You may have to play with GRUB to get this sorted out if you're not moving
from a machine with one disk to a machine with one disk. 

fozz at is Doran L. "Fozz" Barton
 "Let's enjoy your life. Sometimes you can do it only with lovely color."
    -- Japanese stationary packaging
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