If you’ve ever wanted to completely clone your Ubuntu install, with all of the tweaks, files you’ve downloaded and changes you’ve made to it, there’s a fairly simple way to do this. This is great if you want a complete backup, or if you’re looking to move your system to a newer (read: bigger, faster, stronger) hard drive or even just to clone your install to other machines with the same hardware.
We’ll be using the terminal (Applications-> Accessories-> Terminal) and the dd command to do this. You’ll also need to have your second disk up and running when we get going. You can either have it installed and mounted internally or use an external disk enclosure and USB or Firewire. (Note: Doing this via USB 1 will be excruciatingly slow!)