export linux system settings to clone configuration

I want to know if there is a way to export all system settings from a linux box which can be later scripted to setup a new system?
I want all the system settings to be included.

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andreasConnect With a Mentor System AdminCommented:
If its same version to same version you have the follwoing possibilities.

Re-Setup a basic version of CentOS on the new machine.
Then on the old machine build a list of installed packages.

rpm -qa > installed-software.log

on the new machine install these packages.
Repository configuration needs to be the same on both machines. repos can be found here:


and need to be the same on both machines (you need to copy the files over)

yum -y install $(cat /home/user/installed-software.log)

after that you need to copy over the contents of /etc/ to the new machine and you should be finish.

Attention, this only works flawless if hardware and Installed CentOS ist the same.
Some files like grub related and fstab should NOT be copied over as it will damage the system.

If hardware is different you need to be careful when copy over the content of the /etc dir, not to destroy all the files
necessary and individual to the new hardware.

If this is too complicated and you realyl have same hardware, you might use tools like clonezilla to mirror the clone system to the new hardware. this will make a true 1:1 copy but is not a new install with same settings as in your original question.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
IT depends on what you want to do.

Re-Setup same version of linux on just another box, then its quite easy. many distros have tools for this purpose. You should at first give  little more details of what you want to perform exactly, with which version(s) of Linux.
AcklesAuthor Commented:
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andreasSystem AdminCommented:
CentOs, same version to same version? Oldversion to new version? Which is your current version you are using?
AcklesAuthor Commented:
Currently its 6, but it could also be possible that we want to go for newer version
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
For a newer version you need to do more work,

the trick with syncing the packages might not work as sometimes packagenames change.

In this case if you want to switch to 7 you need to re-setup by hand, install all necessary software and copy config files of this packages. Sometimes the config files change options in newer releases so this will not always work and really depends on what software you are trying to migrate.
AcklesAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I will Test it.
What about Network & firewall settings?
I am trying to stimulate that I can have all the config taken out of active system, so just in case if there is a failure I can quickly setup a new system with same configuration.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
you best save contents of


configs, etc.


e.g. databases.

Network settings are in files sitting in /etc/

firewall settings depending on what kind of firewall you are using. we use our own scripts here so ive no idea where and what the defaults for CentOS are exactly. But I'm guessing they are also somewhere in /etc/... As far as I remember, there are several different firewalls provided on RedHat based distros.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
For the scenario of a sudden need of resetup i really would suggest you use images.

As its much much faster as the other approach.

But it might not work if you need to clone to totally different hardware. If hardware is slightly different you can fix the clone after the image was cloned to the new hardware. This fixing mainly to fix the grub configuration, sometimes fstab and the drivers necessary for network, graphics(X11 if any), etc.

e.g. hardware to new to run CentOS 6, or disks cant be partitioned the same way on the new machine as the configuration is different (RAID controllers, SSD vs HDD, etc. pp)
AcklesAuthor Commented:
we have VM's so in case of failure, the hardware will always be same.
That is why I was thinking to have everything exported & make it automated....

Your thoughts?

andreasSystem AdminCommented:
If you VMs its fine, then you can create an identical machine and just clone it with clonezilla.

its a 1 to 1 copy with identical configuration, Network, Packages, Firewall and apps.

Only for an upgrade to CentOS 7 you need to manually reinstall, install proper packages and copy over the configs of the services you are running.
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
depending on how you run your VMs you also could just clone the settings and the disk container of that server on the HOST machine that runs the VMs. This way is totally independent from the OS inside and you even dont need imaging tools.

A re-setup in a VM is wasted energy if you just want desaster recovery. use the tools the VM environment is offering.
(snapshots, machine cloning,...)
What type of VM are you using?
andreasSystem AdminCommented:
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