[Chugalug] Reinstalling Linux

James Nylen jnylen at gmail.com
Sun Nov 4 03:26:20 UTC 2012

I always find the process of reinstalling an OS very painful, and I try to
do it as rarely as possible.  But, I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 on my main PC,
and it is really starting to show its age, along with some strange quirks.
 The last straw is that gnome-panel refuses to display the system-monitor
applet now.  I like having those important system health indicators always

(I'm probably going to switch to plain Debian next, or maybe something like
Bodhi - I want nothing to do with unity on my desktop).

The problem is that I have a lot of custom configuration (Apache with a
fairly extensive custom config and related scripts, a few important patches
installed, custom window manager setup, etc.) that will be pretty
time-consuming to redo.

So here's my question: in the future, how can I minimize the time spent on
annoying things like configuring my webserver how I want after a reinstall?
 Any good methods for lightweight application virtualization?

Also, is there a way that I can take my current machine, turn it into a VM,
and keep it running until I can get services back up in a new install?
 Preferably all this would happen with minimal downtime.
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