moving linux around

Kenneth Burgener kenneth at
Wed Oct 29 10:04:20 MDT 2008

On 10/28/2008 1:41 PM, Andres Gonzalez wrote:
> Thanks for your responses guys. I feel better about trying it.
> -Andres

Sorry for the late response.

My experience has been that you should have little if any troubles
swapping out the motherboard.  kudzu (detects and configures new and/or
changed hardware on a system) and udev (dynamic device management)
usually do a really good job of making changes like this seamless.
There are usually only a few rare issues that I run into with changes
like this, all of which are fixable...

Graphics.  For example, if you switch from a system with an nVidia
graphics card, to one with ATI, your X server will have issues, and need
to be reconfigured.

Udev configurations.  Udev will tend to toss out old configurations, and
provide you with a new default configuration for new found hardware.
What does this mean for you?  If you configured your network card with a
static IP address, this configuration will be swapped out for the
default "dhcp" configuration.  The same thing would go for any other
"peripherals" such as scanners, etc.  This is the most common issue
people run into when throwing around virtual machine images.

Booting (as mentioned earlier).  If your disk is not placed back in the
same order as it was prior, you will need to update Grub to reflect
this.  This could mean updating the MBR to point to the new location of
your boot partition, changing the "root (hd0,1)" in the grub.conf, and
changing the "kernel root=..." parameters.

Modules.  This is the one place that I one might possibly have the most
troubles with.  If you have new hardware, which needs drivers not
provided by the default installation, you will of course need to install
them.  Also check the modprobe configuration files under /etc/, as old
items may need to be removed, and new items may need to be added (or
possibly un-blacklisted).  There are line items here that are added
during installation, such as sound and Ethernet.  If it works right, the
new hardware should be detected and added, and hopefully there should be
no conflicts between the old and new.  If there is, just clean out the old.

Most of the time a system switch is pretty seamless, and if not, all the
problems are solvable with a bootable repair disk (such as Knoppix, or
most distro's repair CD).


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