Not sure if this is the right place

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Not sure if this is the right place

Postby rhomp2002 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:17

I want to save my files prior to doing an new install. I think if I save my home directory as a separate file I will be good to go but cannot find anything that reinforces that belief.

If I copy the home directory to a separate partition, will the new install overwrite it or will I still be able to keep the files I have stored there safe. I have a bunch of stuff that I do not want to lose and I think this is the best way to do it but I am looking for someone who is much farther advanced than I am to advise me as to the best way to do this.

The other thing I want is to be able to share home directory files with different distros. Is this even possible and if so how would I set them up. I checked the ubuntu forum, this forum and the gentoo forum and nobody seems to have addressed this issue. Any help would be definitely appreciated. Thanks in advance.


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Postby wolfden » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:54

If you move the files to a different partition it will not touch em.

You can setup as many partitions as you want, like /home /opt etc.... Just tell the installers where they are and to leave the file system alone. You don't want the installer formating or changing anything.

Regardless you should always play it safe and have a backup.
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Re: Not sure if this is the right place

Postby darkscot » Thu Aug 02, 2007 7:41

rhomp2002 wrote:I want to save my files prior to doing an new install. I think if I save my home directory as a separate file I will be good to go but cannot find anything that reinforces that belief.

Let me reinforce that belief for you as that is exactly what I do whenever I upgrade. I have a separate FAT32 partition that both Linux and XP can access. Before an upgrade I copy my complete /home directory over to that then copy it back after the upgrade. Make sure you do copy the WHOLE folder though as there are lots of hidden folders and files that contain user configuration settings.

Because of these hidden config files I don't think it is a good idea to share the /home directory between distros. You would have to ensure that every software package you used was the same version. Far safer to just set up another partition for your data that each OS could access.
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Postby WarraWarra » Thu Aug 02, 2007 21:44

Sry need coffee.
Can any of you guy's make a guide type thingy for this question as several persons asked about this , espc. issues with having a user say "/home/elvis" and then upgrade and it gets replaced = safe upgrade / reinstall guide, or copying a backed up /home/elvis and using it / making it work.
Example:
Copying " /home/elvis " user folder to backup and then restoring it after clean install + passwd's and getting it to work again. Also if this should replace the new user with same name etc etc or replace files from 3.3 user with new clean installed user files = stable / unstable , will it brake something ?
Someone asked about having deleted the whole root partition except /home/john and then installing and it gets erased as they added a user with the same name john + passwd.

Thanks
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Postby rhomp2002 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 21:54

Thanks for your comment. You said it a lot better than I did and that is exactly the question. I remember reading a couple of places that it is a good idea to put home on its own partition so you don't lose anything but never got a good explanation for just what all should be included and how to ensure that you don't lose it once you have it. I understood the concept but wasn't sure how to create it and then use it later. Also not sure how to handle it when I installed the new release so it still had the old files available. :? :? :?
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Postby darkscot » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:59

I think advice to use a separate partition for /home is less relevant now in the days of cheap diskspace. I used to do this when I had a PC with 40GB of HD but now I have 520GB I just backup my /home/username and do a complete re-install. You could also burn it to a DVD.
I then just copy back the old /home/username directory and overwrite the one that has just been created by the install.
The only time I have had a problem with this was when Thunderbird was updated from 1.5 to 2.0. When I tried to look at existing emails it kept crashing and I had to re-install it.
Another option is to only copy back your old folders as and when you need them. If you 'view hidden files' in Konqueror it is pretty obvious what most of them are. For example .thunderbird stores all your emails and email settings (assuming you USE Thunderbird).
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