moving user accounts to new system

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mike acker
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moving user accounts to new system

Postby mike acker » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:58 am

i notice that User Accounts are stored by User Name as directories in the /home partition

it seems to me then that i should be able to:

1. partition a new system drive, with partitions for root, home, swap, and ext;

the root, and home partitions on this disk could be named anything at this point, e.g. new_root and new_home

2. with the old system drive booted, mount the "new_home" partition of the new system drive

3 copy the user directories from the old system drive to the "new_home" partition

4 power off. reboot from ISO stick. Install LMDE/2 to the "new" system disk, selecting "new_root" to be mounted as /
and "new_home" to be mounted as /home. i think the installer will then find the user directories and install them. seems like this worked OK when I had to re-install LMDE/2 on the ResearchBox,.....

I'm thinking I may want to re-install LMDE/2 on this box. it's an early install of LMDE/2; my installs from the later re-issue of the LMDE/2 ISO run a little better. my original plan was to do this when LMDE/3 ISOs became available. Even so this is the approach i have in mind for the LMDE/3 ISO
My Computer: IBM 360/50 c. 1975
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Penn
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby Penn » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:12 am

I see no reason why this wouldn't work since I did something with a bit of a parallel but not quite the same.

I had Mint 17 installed back when I was still experimenting with different distros to find which I wanted. That install was on 1 partition but I heard you could use the same home on it's own partition and share it with other distros and since I was still distro hopping but wanted to keep Mint in place I figured this could be beneficial.

So I created 2 new partitions. I named "home" and copied my entire home folder to it. I then changed the UUID that the then current Mint was looking for as the home folder, added a file to the new partition to test it out and rebooted. Since I found that worked I installed a new distro (don't remember which one it was) and told it during setup to use that same partition for /home without formatting it and all worked as expected.

I did run into some complications somewhere along the line after replacing the "other' distro multiple times but it was simple to fix. I don't remember what the problem was any more but I doubt going from one LMDE version to another with the same /home will create that complication.

feffer
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby feffer » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:51 am

If I understand the original post correctly, the idea is to retain config files from /home/user and elsewhere in a new lmde install? Probably OK. However, I'm confused about Penn's response. Years ago, I also distro hopped. I hope Penn isn't saying he used the same /home/user for multiple distros...throwing all the .whatever files into the same place? That would surely lead to problems. Straighten me out, if I'm misunderstanding.

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mike acker
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby mike acker » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:47 am

feffer wrote:If I understand the original post correctly, the idea is to retain config files from /home/user and elsewhere in a new lmde install? Probably OK. However, I'm confused about Penn's response. Years ago, I also distro hopped. I hope Penn isn't saying he used the same /home/user for multiple distros...throwing all the .whatever files into the same place? That would surely lead to problems. Straighten me out, if I'm misunderstanding.


in this case my plan is to use this method to move from LMDE/2 to LMDE/3 -- when LMDE/3 becomes available.

i was highly curious about this though as earlier I had to re-install the LMDE/2 on my Research box. in that case the system disk was partitioned with 4 partitions : (/) root; (/home); (/swap); and (/ext);

I loaded the LMDE/2 .iso and told it : do something else and then just selected the existing partitions. all of the data -- including the user ( just me on this one ) -- were preserved -- including -- my VirtualBox machine -- which continued to operate properly.

I did have to re-install my app progrm selections.

one thing may have dropped: later i discovered i was no longer a member of "virtual box users" -- and, although the VBox worked OK I could not access anything over USB -- including the Epson V500 scanner. After I fixed the "virtual box users" group -- and downloaded updated Epson software -- the Epson V500 is working properly again . It is a very good scanner package and I much prefer to use it v. other options.

it's my understanding the GPARTED can copy a partition.

for the migration my play is to
(1) format a new disk with root, home, ext, and swap partitions -- just like i meant to do a new install.
(2) copy the existing /home partition to the new disk;
(3) install the LMDE/3 .iso onto the new disk;

it will be interesting to see if the installer preserves me as the user.
Last edited by mike acker on Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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feffer
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby feffer » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:15 pm

Thx for clarifying, Mike. Your method saves a lot of configuration after re-installing whether to test or go from lmde2 to lmde3. Please update the thread when you do make your upgrade. When I went from lmde to lmde2, I did a full wipe and new install. I kept a few files from lmde to help with tweaking/configuring but it was a lot of work to bring lmde2 to a similar "state." I will not be an early lmde3 adopter! On regular Linux Mint, I tend to go from LTS to the next LTS. In those cases, I do full wipes & new installs, since they're years apart, I just deal with the extra configuration work, but your idea is intriguing!

Penn
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby Penn » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:35 pm

feffer wrote:However, I'm confused about Penn's response. Years ago, I also distro hopped. I hope Penn isn't saying he used the same /home/user for multiple distros...throwing all the .whatever files into the same place? That would surely lead to problems. Straighten me out, if I'm misunderstanding.

Not sure what is confusing. Yes, I did that. Yes, I also said it did eventually created an issue (maybe the confusion is I didn't clearly state my experience led me to realize it shouldn't be done but is possible in some circumstances). I also stated using the same home folder when moving to a newer release probably wouldn't create a problem but didn't say it absolutely won't.

So your confusion now has me confused, lol.

feffer
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Re: moving user accounts to new system

Postby feffer » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:42 pm

OK, got it Penn. I thought that was what you were saying, but wasn't sure. We're good! :)


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