Persistent to go installation

Say if I persistently installed Fedora on SSD that’s plugged into Machine A. Can I hot-swap my SSD by plugging it into Machine B (with diggerent CPU/GPU/Memory) and expect Fedora to adapt to new system harware? Is there a to-go functionality in Fedora or any RHEL distributions?

Noob here, sorry for jumbled use of jargons, if any. Thanks.

Usually it works just like that.

In some cases you may need to restore boot loader or disable proprietary video drivers.
Also some settings may rely on hardware configuration such as systemd quotas, swapping parameters, display settings, network connections, etc.

See also:

1 Like

Welcome! Do check out #start-here so you can acquainted with the server.

I’ve done this before, and it does work! …mostly…

Here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • If you’re switching to a UEFI system from a BIOS system, you’re going to have to reinstall your bootloader and potentially rewrite your disk’s partition table as GPT instead of MBR. This is definitely the most awkward case of this whole list…
  • If you’re switching to an NVIDIA GPU, you should probably install the proprietary drivers.
  • If you ever edited your fstab manually, make sure you’re using disk UUIDs, not the path to the block device (/dev/sdN).

That being said, I’d personally probably advise just clean installing, then plugging in your old drive as a secondary hard drive and moving everything over. It takes a bit longer, but starting from a clean slate every once in a while is usually a good thing. In particular, if you are moving from BIOS to UEFI, this would probably be easier.

1 Like

@refi64, you’re talking about move harddrive to a new machine scenario, whereas @cryslizmibers asks about my system on my usb drive is always with me scenario – at least that;s how i read the topic title.

Or just use nouveau, which is (more often then not) ok for desktop use – no gaming or fancy 3D stuff.

All the other points I second )

My two cents to add: this Fedora magazine article mentions

… if you are going to move your hard drive to a new computer, you might want to temporarily include all drivers in the initramfs to be sure that the operating system can load on the new computer. To do so, you would run the following command:

# dracut --force --no-hostonly

The force parameter tells dracut that it is OK to overwrite the existing initramfs archive. The no-hostonly parameter overrides the default behavior of including only drivers that are germane to the currently-running computer and causes dracut to instead include all drivers in the initramfs.

This can be useful for no-the-go scenario as well.


I mean they said SSD, though I guess it could still be either. :man_shrugging: