Hardware swap process

I have been running ipfire on a 3rd (maybe 4th) hand PC for years.

Since the fans are getting noisy and the rotating disk is the original, I intend to be proactive and swap out to new hardware.

I’m imagining the process goes something like this:

  • make sure ipfire is up to date (which it is ATM)
  • make a backup using the ipfire utilities on a different machine
  • install the latest ipfire on the new system
  • restore backup of the configuration

I see from the wiki on migration that setup needs to be run for the new nics.
Since this is a entirely new PC, I assume the sensors, collectd and vnstat need to be done as well.

The old PC is classic BIOS, the new will undoubtedly be UEFI. Are things I need to watch for with this?

I intend to wipe the SSD in the new PC. How should the disk be prepared for minimal hassle?

I assume all that can be done, then shutdown the old, insert the new and boot.

Any other caveats?

This is important if you want your old graphs to work.

Thanks that wiki is what I meant when I said: “I see from the wiki on migration…”

If the new system supports EFI then the installation of IPFire will automatically recognise that and create the partitions appropriately. You don’t have to do anything for that.

That is for when you are moving a disk drive with the IPFire installation to a new system.
In your case you are starting from scratch with everything so the installation will set up the nics etc as part of the installation.
To make the restore work you should keep the subnets that you had defined for green, blue & orange on your old system.

To make sure you keep your history, make sure to choose the backup option with logfiles.

You don’t have to wipe the SSD beforehand, although it won’t affect anything if you do.

New data from when you start using the system will work fine. The old history from the logs in the restored backup may well work okay as well. However if there is a problem that is where the link from @hvacguy should be read with regard to “If the RRD-Graphs and Sensor-RRD-Graphs are wrong”.
So after restoring the old backup into the new system you should check the logs for any collectd messages as mentioned in that link.


Done many times.

  1. Do a backup.
  2. Install IPfire on the new machine and restore the backup.
  3. Proceed with the migration tutorial.

Thanks for all the replies.

I thought of a couple more things.

Will a restore also restore firewall rules, DHCP setup, and VPN setup?

Yes it will.

That is why it is important to use the same subnets as previously.
If you change them and then restore, your dhcp settings will be based on the old subnets and won’t work with the new ones.


question for @drmacro: from what device to what device are you swapping?
Which hardware will be kept?

As rule of thumb, most of the answers are common sense guidelines however… Some tricks may be needed for your case.

Completely new hardware.

That’s nice.
You can try the replacement plenty of times, still having the old device as fallback if necessary.

Hmm…went to download the iso.

Probably obvious…but.

On the ancient hardware (Intel Core2 Duo) I have the X86_64 version.

The new hardware is Intel Alder Lake, do I still download X86_64?

aarch64 doesn’t sound right.

Yes, use the x86_64 version.

IPFire only has the 64 bit version of the x86 architecture which covers both Intel and AMD.

aarch64 is the 64 bit ARM architecture download.

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Duh…should have realized aarch was for ARM.


Ok, got the new hardware. Have gotten to the point in the install when it says remove media a reboot.

So, when I reboot I set the passwords etc.

Will I be able to run it on the same network where my exiting ipfire machine is connecting to the internet, dhcp, etc. while I restore the backup?

Can just name it something different temporarily, then change the name back to the existing name later. (Presumably, after removing the current ipfire machine?)

It is important to remove the older IPFire box before connecting the newer, because having duplicated IP/hostnames on a LAN causes hiatus. If you are concerned about workstations/servers behaving incorrectly without previous IPFire settings, then temporarily disconnect or power down those.

Settings can be restored immediately after connection to the LAN. Advisable to reboot following restoration of settings.

Can the hostname be changed in the normal way on Linux?

Change the hostname and hosts file?

The simplest way is to run the setup command from the console and you can then change the hostname there.
IPFire stores the hostname in a slightly different place than most other linux distributions and i can’t remember of the top of my head where.
I do it vua the setup program myself.

If you wanted to do it by changing files manually you would need to check the code for the setup command and find where and how it stores the hostname.


The transplant seems to have been a success.

I ended up using a cross over cable from a laptop to the green, performing the restore via the web interface.

Then swapped out the old for the new. Other than having to coerce the provider modem to DHCP the red, it, so far, so good.

Thanks for all the replies and help!!