(big thanks to James for this find!) To get all the packages installed as a file: dpkg --get-selections > /backup/installed-software.log
and then using this command to reinstall after the new distro is in place: dpkg --set-selections < /backup/installed-software.log
Version control your configuration files with etckeeper.
HMRC's payroll submissions software will stop supporting Windows XP at the end of this year.