{SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

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{SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ElEdwards on Sun Jun 07, 2009 10:20 pm

I follow the practice of having a separate partition as /home and typically, this works well...... but I recently changed from Ubuntu 9.04 to Mint 7 (reformat and fresh install but keeping /home intact) and found that the desktop settings (wallpaper, toolbars, shortcuts, etc.) stayed the way I had set them in Ubuntu, rather than the new look of Mint 7.

Are there things in /home that can be safely deleted when prepping for a fresh install of a distro? The only things I really need to keep are Documents, Downloads, /.VirtualBox and a few other folders.

I know I can backup most of these....but my /.VirtualBox folder is bigger than 6 Gigs, which exceeds any backup medium I presently have,so keeping this intact is kinda important. It has WinXP for some things I do for work.

Thoughts? Thanks :)
Last edited by ElEdwards on Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby markcynt on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:27 am

I would make a partition for data and move the stuff over there, then reinstall from scratch.
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby emorrp1 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:59 am

I recommend data partition too. However to answer your question, everything in the home folder is safely removeable, so just keep what you need (but you might want to backup everything else).
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ElEdwards on Mon Jun 08, 2009 9:35 am

Data partition it is! Great idea. Thanks! :)
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ElEdwards on Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:42 pm

OK..... I did this:

1st
I booted to the Mint 7 Live CD, started the Disk Partitioner and made my existing partitions a little smaller. My laptop has a 40-Gig HDD and I was using all of it for Mint..... after resizing and moving, I still had my /, /home and swap partitions but also had 8-Gig of unused space, which I formatted to ext4 with a /data mount point as my fourth partition.

2nd
I rebooted to my existing Mint 7 installation and let the drive check itself....all was fine and I was back at the desktop.

3rd
I copied my Documents and .VirtualBox folders to the Data partition. I double-checked the Data partition and everything copied successfully.

4th
I again booted to the Mint 7 Live CD and did a fresh install, formatting the / and /home partitions but not the Data partition. The new install went perfectly (as Mint always does for me). :)

After the new install and the few automatic updates & reboots, I opened the Data drive. Documents and its contents was still there .... but .VirtualBox was gone :( Weird! Luckily, I had also copied it to my wife's computer across our home network so I have it back and all is well.

....but what removed the .VirtualBox copy from the Data partition while not removing the copy of Documents? Could it have been the period in front of its name? When I copied it, was there some kind of link between the original and the copy that I wasn't aware of?

Thanks for any insight :)
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby emorrp1 on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:03 pm

I suspect the folder's still there, but on a fresh install, the folder would be hidden in nautilus, press ctrl+h to unhide.
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby markcynt on Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:04 pm

I usually just save the folder that holds the virtual disk. Never had any problems, don't know what caused yours.
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ElEdwards on Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:37 pm

Well.....DUH!!!! emorpp1, you were right! I feel silly for not checking for hidden stuff. Thanks! :)
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ibm450 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:27 am

markcynt wrote:I usually just save the folder that holds the virtual disk. Never had any problems, don't know what caused yours.



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for the love of god, how did you manage to install different distros? please step by step as im a a newbie. i tried to follow previous threads on hows to do this, but for some reason, a great big debate occurs on how one does the partitions to others and goes totally off track. can some one please, only in SIMPLE terms and guides, STEP by step, on how to create separate partitions to install separate distros on 1 HHD. im currently using LM7, 32bit and would love to experiment with other distros on 1 hard drive....say, partition 1 = lm7 gnome, part 2 lm7 KDE etc etc some other linux distro and be able to keep the /home folder or be able to mount home directory and be still be able to do fresh installs of what ever i choose in part 1 or 2 without loosing home directory and or one of the other distros through the grub menu....please im only after the ""HOW..." not interested in creating so many different partitions to make it boot faster etc. im intersted in the ext4 format.
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:01 am

ibm450 wrote:for the love of god, how did you manage to install different distros? please step by step as im a a newbie. i tried to follow previous threads on hows to do this, but for some reason, a great big debate occurs on how one does the partitions to others and goes totally off track. can some one please, only in SIMPLE terms and guides, STEP by step, on how to create separate partitions to install separate distros on 1 HHD. im currently using LM7, 32bit and would love to experiment with other distros on 1 hard drive....say, partition 1 = lm7 gnome, part 2 lm7 KDE etc etc some other linux distro and be able to keep the /home folder or be able to mount home directory and be still be able to do fresh installs of what ever i choose in part 1 or 2 without loosing home directory and or one of the other distros through the grub menu....please im only after the ""HOW..." not interested in creating so many different partitions to make it boot faster etc. im intersted in the ext4 format.


You read about all your options, back up all the data you are sure to lose from doing this for the first time, and you experiment until you find the partitioning scheme that works for you. Most importantly, you listen to the advice of others even when it is something you do NOT want to hear, like you should not share /home between distros!

sda1 - swap - 2GB unless it is pon a laptop and you hibernate. In that case it equals RAM. Share this with all distros.
sda2 - /data ext3 or 4 unless you have win, in that case NTFS. You create this partition yourself and share this between distros. Private data.
sda3 - extended (if you only want to dual boot two distros then you can just use sda3 and sda4, but as there is a 4 partition max on a single drive you can create an extended partition and install as many distros as you want (within reason not sure the limit).

sda5 - etx4 / distro 1.
sda6 - ext4 / distro 2
sda7 etc...

For grub use an Ubuntu grub in the MBR as the master grub. Install other distro grubs in the /boot of that distro (which is in /) then manually map the master grub to the slave grub. This way each distro can automatically update the kernel and you never have to remap again.

You will have a problem using ext4 in Fedora because it requires grub to link to an ext3 partition. If you use Fedora the easiest way around this is just use ext3. The alternative is to create a small ext3 extended partition just for the Fedora /boot. I do not know if any other distros have this problem.

I left out sizes, that is your discreation. Since you have a /data partition for all your personal stuff, to be shared between all distros, then you really shouldnt need much over 10GB per distro. You could go as small as 7GB, I would prefer 20GB. Depends on your drive and your needs.

Of course, as you found out, this is just one way among many. I feel this is the easiest and the best, but others may argue. :D
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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby markcynt on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:11 am

I won't argue, this is pretty much a newb point of view.

For starters, I'm no expert in multibooting but as you can see I do have some experience with it. I learned a lot of things the hard way. I can only help you with what I know and that is multibooting anything Windows, Ubuntu based distros, and openSUSE. I'm not that far from being a newb myself.

The preferred order is always Windows, openSUSE, Ubuntu. This is because installs are practically automatic when done in that order. I don't know how to edit Grub but can manipulate Grub in a limited fashion with openSUSE's GUI or kGrub. As for other distros I can't really say. I tried Fedora but Fedora wiped out my multiboot and I had to restore Grub.

I always start fresh when I install and I keep my data separate from the operating system. I share 1 /swap and give each distro 20GB for /root and various sizes for /home. My data goes on a second hard disk, a flash drive and CD's/DVD's, and some even goes online.

If you want to try another Ubuntu based distro let me know and I can help. I don't know much about ext4 since I've stayed away from it due to reports of data loss.
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby Fred on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:21 am

ibm450 wrote:
You know the speed of light, so what's the speed of dark?

Dark is the absence of light. Therefore dark can only be present at the rate that light can be removed. Hence the speed of dark is equal to the speed of light. :-)

More to the point. It just so happens that another user is in the process of setting up the exact scheme you are asking about. You might want to follow along with that thread and use the reference thread I referred him to. Don't complicate the thread by posting your comments and questions there however. Just use it for reference and start your own thread if you are serious and wish to pursue a similar path. :-)

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11087&p=160349&hilit=Fred+handsome#p160349

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Re: Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ibm450 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:32 am

markcynt wrote:I won't argue, this is pretty much a newb point of view.

For starters, I'm no expert in multibooting but as you can see I do have some experience with it. I learned a lot of things the hard way. I can only help you with what I know and that is multibooting anything Windows, Ubuntu based distros, and openSUSE. I'm not that far from being a newb myself.

The preferred order is always Windows, openSUSE, Ubuntu. This is because installs are practically automatic when done in that order. I don't know how to edit Grub but can manipulate Grub in a limited fashion with openSUSE's GUI or kGrub. As for other distros I can't really say. I tried Fedora but Fedora wiped out my multiboot and I had to restore Grub.

I always start fresh when I install and I keep my data separate from the operating system. I share 1 /swap and give each distro 20GB for /root and various sizes for /home. My data goes on a second hard disk, a flash drive and CD's/DVD's, and some even goes online.

If you want to try another Ubuntu based distro let me know and I can help. I don't know much about ext4 since I've stayed away from it due to reports of data loss.



cheers dude, if you dont mind can you please PM step by step on how to do this, but, not windows. i work in the bush and have no internet, so i take with me LM7 distro, ubuntu and debian linux 5 with me so i can master how to multi install linux distros on one hhd

i dont understand this extended partion every1 is talking about. i would like to install
1 - LM7
2- debian distro
3 - ubuntu

if you dont mind PM me step by step, level by level from /boot ---> /swap would be much much appreciated, i know this thread will be swamped by 100's of opinions and will only make things more confusing. i tried to follow previous threads or advises but i keep / seems that my grub menu disappears to the last install of what ever distro i add after LM7 and it becomes very fustrating spending hrs to get multi boot distros happening. so if you dont mind PM me the every little basic stepp to successfully install say LM7 on 1 partitons and ubuntu on another say using same user name or different username, who cares, but still use the same / home folder for both distros without loosing all the data in home would be MUCH appreciated.

reagrds :oops:
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ibm450 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:38 am

Fred wrote:ibm450 wrote:
You know the speed of light, so what's the speed of dark?

Dark is the absence of light. Therefore dark can only be present at the rate that light can be removed. Hence the speed of dark is equal to the speed of light. :-)

More to the point. It just so happens that another user is in the process of setting up the exact scheme you are asking about. You might want to follow along with that thread and use the reference thread I referred him to. Don't complicate the thread by posting your comments and questions there however. Just use it for reference and start your own thread if you are serious and wish to pursue a similar path. :-)

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11087&p=160349&hilit=Fred+handsome#p160349

Fred



cheers fred

but just after step by step on how to set up what im after, simple terms. sorry to say but its 100 times easier to set up multi boot in windows like i have set up on 1 hhd for the past 2 yrs with no flaws

(c)95 - (d)98 - (e) me - (f)2000 - (g) xp - (h)vista - (i)windows 7 - (j) STORAGE

so easy compared to linux

and yes speed of dark = speed of light ---- smarty pants.... lol
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby Fred on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:54 am

ibm450,

A few points I hope you can/will appreciate.

First, what we are doing in the other thread is probably not a newbie task. There are other ways to setup a simpler dual boot. :-)

Secondly, I don't do rote, step-by-step, every click, every key-press instructions for a complex task like this. What I am willing to do is teach you how to do it. I will participate in a learning process with you. :-)

Thirdly, I insist on doing something like this in open forum, so our efforts can be a learning experience for others as well. :-)

I know, I am a mean, uncooperative old S*B. :-)

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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby markcynt on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:56 am

I've never heard of Debian distro unless you mean Debian. If that's the case I will need to try it first before I can help you. And even then, like Fred said, at the very least we should start a thread in the open forum so that others may benefit.
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby FedoraRefugee on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:03 am

markcynt wrote:I've never heard of Debian distro unless you Debian. If that's the case I will need to try it first before I can help you. And even then, like Fred said, at the very least we should start a thread in the open forum so that others may benefit.


It sounds like he just wants spoon fed. As far as I am concerned that would just be a waste of everyone's time. It is as Fred said, if you are willing to learn something than I am willing to share the experience, but I dont do step by step mouse clicks either. For starters, I will not be held responsible for his dissatisfaction when things dont work out. There is no "step by step" for this, just 2 million options out of which you need to choose what is best for each circumstance.
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby markcynt on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:11 am

I don't mind spoon feeding. I've needed a little of that myself.
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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby Fred on Mon Jun 15, 2009 11:17 am

A suggestion please. Whoever helps this user, please have him start a new thread so it can be found and referenced more easily 6 months from now. This one is for someone else and is marked "solved."

Thanks, :-)

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Re: {SOLVED} Home partition and fresh installs.....

Postby ibm450 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:35 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:
markcynt wrote:I've never heard of Debian distro unless you Debian. If that's the case I will need to try it first before I can help you. And even then, like Fred said, at the very least we should start a thread in the open forum so that others may benefit.


It sounds like he just wants spoon fed. As far as I am concerned that would just be a waste of everyone's time. It is as Fred said, if you are willing to learn something than I am willing to share the experience, but I dont do step by step mouse clicks either. For starters, I will not be held responsible for his dissatisfaction when things dont work out. There is no "step by step" for this, just 2 million options out of which you need to choose what is best for each circumstance.


As far as I am concerned that would just be a waste of everyone's time

im so sorry guru of all knowing......its replys like this puts newbies off in trying out geek ware. i bet you any $ that you were once spoon fed on certain areas of linux when you first started out....

by the way...i thought the motto on this site was
"NO QUESTION IS STUPID"
so why make bitter comments?

and for your stupid info, my reason in wanting to try multi boot distro'ing is to see which one (distro) i end up using more often and eventually get away from using windows. if my "spoon feeding" request is just to much for you, please, get *&^% and dont spoil it for us newbies, and i rather not have bitter comments on what i asked for in the 1st place.

maybe one day the experience and knowledge i gain from Linux, i may end up spoon feeding you !!!!

im so sorry for this outburst people, its comments like this that really shy newbies from posting novice questions.
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