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Migrating settings and data for Linux distributions with Lyft

loouislow profile image Loouis Low Updated on ・2 min read

A CLI tool created many years ago to use in my working company, it was developed for migrating Linux settings and data from one Linux installation to another. It can be used while re-installing the operating system, and when moving to the next release of a Linux distribution.

I would like to share with you guys the tool you might find useful. Please visit my Github repository page and also read the complete documentation. Here comes the official...


Lyft is a tool for migrating settings and data from one Linux installation to another. It can be used while re-installing the operating system, and when moving to the next release of a Linux distribution.

Lyft does not have options for encrypting the backups - this is by design. There is no encryption so that backup files can be edited by hand, and data can be restored manually if required. For security, you can use an encrypted USB drive as the backup location and delete the data once you finish migrating to the new Linux installation.

For the best results, the restore operation should be run on a fresh Linux installation. It can be run on an existing system but this is not recommended, and results will not be the same as the system from which backups were created.

Lyft supports Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, and their derivatives. Some features may be available only on some distributions. For example, migrating downloaded packages from package manager cache is supported only on Debian, Ubuntu, and derivatives (which use apt); and on Arch and derivatives (which use Pacman).

Lyft should only be used to migrate between two installations of the same distribution. For example, you can migrate from Fedora 24 to Fedora 25, or from Ubuntu 17.04 to Ubuntu 17.10, but not from Fedora to Ubuntu. This is because package names and repositories vary between different distributions and cannot be migrated. You can migrate some items such as fonts, icons, themes, etc but you need to be careful and check for issues after you do the restoration.

Lyft should only be used to migrate between two installations of the same architecture. For example, you can migrate from 32-bit to 32-bit system, or from 64-bit to 64-bit system, but not from 32-bit to 64-bit. This is because package names and repositories vary between different architectures and cannot be migrated.


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