Some time ago, I upgraded to a new MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo processor (yay 64-bitness!), and was faced with the question how to get data from the old MacBook to the new one, without having to reinstall everything.
With Linux, I have used rsync to migrate installations. In fact, my last Linux laptop (retired in 2006) was running a Debian installation that originated on a desktop around 1999, and had been moved between machines (and upgraded, of course) several times. However, since the preinstalled MacOS X on the new laptop was also newer (10.4.10, no Leopard yet), something else was called for.
Disk Mode (
The granularity of choice what to copy is rather coarse, but it
actually worked as expected!
Well, mostly at least. A few things needed manual care taking. I will list them here as future reference for myself:
- X.509 certificates were not copied over. Fixed by enabling the root user, logging in, and copying them into Keychain's X509Anchors.
- Some settings were not copied over, for example, Accessability settings were disabled (which made MondoMouse not work).
- The English-German keyboard layout was not copied over.
- I synchronize my calendars via iCal to https WebDAV shares. For some random reason, I needed to go once with the Safari browser(!) to each of the https URL, otherwise iCal refused to synchronize them.
- X11 and the Xcode IDE were not copied over. I reinstalled them from the new installation DVDs.
- The /usr/local/ hierarchy was not copied at all. Curiously, /opt/local/, where MacPorts live, had been copied over automatically.
- It seems that I must go through all of /etc/ to ensure that nothing gets forgotton, for example, the settings in /etc/hostconfig to hardwire the hostname, /etc/postfix/, etc..
- Bluetooth pairing and pairing with the Apple Remote needs to be repeated with the new machine.
- VPN and 802.1x settings were not copied over.
- Fonts needed by the GIMP were not copied over, my solution was to reinstall MacGIMP.
- With the new iPhoto '08, the Picasa iPhoto plugin did not work anymore. For a while, there was no workaround, except using the standalone uploader. However, a recent Picasa update appears to fix it.