Transferring to a new machine isn't particularly difficult. You may just want to copy over your home directory and do nothing more. If you do want to do more, third party software like Carbon Copy Cloner can make that an easy task.
If you'd rather roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself, OS X's Unix roots and some special Apple software give you what you need.
The OS X "ditto" command copies directories, preserving permissions, properly handling resource forks and symbolic links. Running under "sudo", you can use ditto to clone an entire disk. There's a lot more to "ditto" than you might think; read the man page for all the possibilities. You'll also need to run "bless" if you want the new volume to be bootable. See How to Create a Bootable Backup of Mac OS X (Cloning Mac OS X disks) also.
For more complicated needs, there's "asr". See Rapid Deployment of Mac OS X with Apple Software Restore
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence