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I'll be traveling for the next few months and have got the chance to swap out my machine from a (IMO quite weighty) 2022 MacBook Pro 14in (M1 Pro) to a new 13in MacBook Air M2.

I'm a bit short on time and wondering if I can avoid starting the reinstall from scratch. I have the basics: Chrome, Sublime Text, Slack etc, alongside a MAMP install over Homebrew.

Is there an efficient solution to clone Mac to Mac? Are these Apple Silicon processors similar enough to clone properly? Or am I going to end up with a hot mess?

What clone solution would you use?

I've never taken the clone route before, as I get the benefit of wiping/installing from scratch to have a cleaner machine to get started with, but this might be a time saver here.

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    you would not clone but use the Apple Migration Assistant located in the Utility folder
    – Ruskes
    Nov 22, 2023 at 20:46
  • Can't you use CCC (via an intermediary USB disk) to copy the file system from one mac to the other? That's what I've always done. Nov 22, 2023 at 20:48
  • @Greenonline that's what I'm asking, will a CCC clone produce a usable system considering differences in CPU etc?
    – Dan
    Nov 22, 2023 at 20:56
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    You shouldn’t use Carbon Copy Cloner. You should just use Migration Assistant or a Time Machine backup. Utterly 100% of everything should work fine. I did it from a 2020 Intel MacBook Air to a 2022 M2 MacBook Air and there were no problems. Nov 22, 2023 at 22:31
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    @Gilby OS version only matters pre-Ventura (13.0). For Sonoma (14.0) I recently recovered from a Time Machine backup from Sonoma to Ventura with no problems and no notice from the process. Once I got all my files in place and recovered from Time Machine, I then upgraded to Sonoma. Apple is much better with separating system files from user installed data nowadays. Just don’t use Carbon Copy Cloner; overkill and will cause issues. Nov 22, 2023 at 22:38

1 Answer 1

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I would recommend to use the Apple Migration Assistant that is made just for what you want.

Use Migration Assistant to copy all of your documents, apps, user accounts, and settings to a new Mac from another computer.

Find the instructions here

Migrate

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  • Would this also take care of everything installed via homebrew (inc homebrew itself) ?
    – Dan
    Nov 22, 2023 at 20:55
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    @Dan everything but the OS it self
    – Ruskes
    Nov 22, 2023 at 20:57
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    Thanks all, I can confirm that Migration assistant brought everything over, including Homebrew and the contents of /opt. The only downside is that it brought over my very untidy Desktop too :S.
    – Dan
    Dec 23, 2023 at 17:21
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    For posterity's sake, Migration Assistant reckoned that my Wifi6 connection was faster than the Apple USB-C cable I had hanging around. If I did this in future, I'd probably grab a proper Thunderbolt cable to make it zippier.
    – Dan
    Dec 23, 2023 at 17:23
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    @nohillside confirmed-- Migration assistant brought everything over, including Homebrew and the contents of /opt
    – Ruskes
    Dec 23, 2023 at 17:51

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