My opinion: upgrade Ulyana; don't clean install

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hydrurga
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by hydrurga »

acerimusdux wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:12 pm
If you keep /home on a separate partition, you CAN do a clean install without losing most all of your previous configurations, themes, customizations, etc. Just use the "something else" or "manual" option in the installer, and be sure to not format /home on the install. And use the same username when you create your user on install.
It's not really a "clean install" then, imo. You would be using, for example, Mint 20 with the config files and cruft generated with Mint 19.3 (and older). In my humble opinion, if you're going to do a clean install, then best to do it properly. Of course, that is made much easier if you keep notes of how you install and configure the software on your system.
acerimusdux
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by acerimusdux »

If you are keeping notes about how you intall and configure the software on your system, and reduplicate all of that, then all you are doing is regenerating all of the same "cruft" that you could have just kept in the first place!

The only things that get stored in /home are your own data files, and your own user configurations and customizations. Any system configurations will be on the / partition (mostly in /etc) and will be replaced with a fresh installation.

There may well be some cruft in the sense of old configuration files for programs you no longer use. But the amount of disk space used by these text files is so miniscule compared to the size of todays drives, as to be meaningless. The only reason to even bother deleting these old files is for aesthetic reasons, if you are doing lots of work from the command line and don't like seeing all these unneeded hidden files in your /home directory. And anyone in that situation likely also knows how to manage that problem from the command line (you can just rm any old configurations or caches you don't need).

In short, those hidden files in your /home directory ARE your notes about all of your preferred configurations and customizations. It just makes yourself lots of unneeded work, to no benefit, to not use them.
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blackcarajillo
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by blackcarajillo »

acerimusdux wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:00 pm
In short, those hidden files in your /home directory ARE your notes about all of your preferred configurations and customizations. It just makes yourself lots of unneeded work, to no benefit, to not use them.
That is exactly how I see it.

OP's title is indeed too drastic but I have personally no problems with the upgrade, not only technical I mean 'ideologically' if one might say so. To me it seems like an exercise in vim vs emacs.
hydrurga
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by hydrurga »

acerimusdux wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:00 pm
If you are keeping notes about how you intall and configure the software on your system, and reduplicate all of that, then all you are doing is regenerating all of the same "cruft" that you could have just kept in the first place!

The only things that get stored in /home are your own data files, and your own user configurations and customizations. Any system configurations will be on the / partition (mostly in /etc) and will be replaced with a fresh installation.

There may well be some cruft in the sense of old configuration files for programs you no longer use. But the amount of disk space used by these text files is so miniscule compared to the size of todays drives, as to be meaningless. The only reason to even bother deleting these old files is for aesthetic reasons, if you are doing lots of work from the command line and don't like seeing all these unneeded hidden files in your /home directory. And anyone in that situation likely also knows how to manage that problem from the command line (you can just rm any old configurations or caches you don't need).

In short, those hidden files in your /home directory ARE your notes about all of your preferred configurations and customizations. It just makes yourself lots of unneeded work, to no benefit, to not use them.
That would be all fine and dandy if Mint were a rolling distro. However for much of the software, it will be updated every two years. That's two years in which the application may well have changed the way it works and changed the personal configuration it stores. So, at the major upgrade, you're going to install the new version of the application but you're going to have it launching, initially at least, with a personal configuration file that could be two years out of date, with the potential for issues arising as a result. Of course, if the software developer is on the ball then they're going to update older configuration files when they come across them, but how many software developers are that much on the ball?

I can see where you are coming from, but I still beg to differ. If you're going to clean install, you may as well do a proper clean install, and that includes setting up your configuration from scratch in line with the new versions of software that you're installing.
acerimusdux
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by acerimusdux »

hydrurga wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:26 pm
Of course, if the software developer is on the ball then they're going to update older configuration files when they come across them, but how many software developers are that much on the ball?
Pretty near to 100%. If an application mismanaged it's own user configuration files, in such a way that caused any significant problem, that would be a bug which would likely be noticed and fixed rather quickly.

In any case, anytime you do wish to start from scratch, with all fresh configuration, you don't need to reinstall everything to do that. You just need to create a new user!

So there's really no downside to saving all of your configurations. In any case, I would disagree that what you are describing is the "proper" way to do this. The actually *recommended* way, is to use Backup Tool to back up and restore your entire /home directory, including hidden configuration files. And using Backup Tool will also give you the option to backup and restore your software selections, as well.

https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2

Many experienced users though do prefer to keep /home on a separate partition, which allows you to install a new system without touching or having to move your own data and configurations (though it is still of course advised to have them backed up, just in case).
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by ianblakeley »

acerimusdux wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:12 pm
If you keep /home on a separate partition, you CAN do a clean install without losing most all of your previous configurations, themes, customizations, etc.
This is what I ended up doing. I tried the updater after all I'd gone as I recall 17 - 18 - 19 okay with all the point releases in between but after spending a not inconsiderable amount of time removing and/or downgrading external PPA 'foreign programs' 20 was unusable complaining of missing python et al on boot. Restored the timeshift snapshot and installed from USB keeping my existing /home a little bit of a faff in that I had to shrink the / in order to put in /efi which may or may not be the reason for the fail to upgrade.

A little mucking about adding back in stuff that is not standard but I was up and running with >95% of my stuff within an hour or so. I occasionally find the odd thing missing but I just re-add as I go. Just this morning, gritted my teeth and deleted the old 19 snapshots so fully committed now.
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murray
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by murray »

acerimusdux wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:12 pm
If you keep /home on a separate partition, you CAN do a clean install without losing most all of your previous configurations, themes, customizations, etc. Just use the "something else" or "manual" option in the installer, and be sure to not format /home on the install. And use the same username when you create your user on install.
Yeeeesssss, except remember that some programs don't keep their data in your home directory by default. For example I'm a web designer and have Apache and MariaDB set up on my machine. By default Apache stores your website files in /var/www/html and its configuration files in /etc/httpd. MariaDB stores your databases in /var/lib/mysql and its configuration files in /etc/mysql.

So in my case, even though I have my /home directory on a spearate partition, if I did a clean install I'd lose all my website files and databases.

Of course I have them all backed up and so restoring them wouldn't be too hard, but it's an extra step and something I have to be aware of when doing the clean install.

I get a bit annoyed with people that say "just have your /home on a separate partition and you won't lose any data when doing a clean install". They seem to forget that there are programs out there that don't store their data in your /home because they don't consider their data is owned by a single user.
Running Mint 19.3 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD
AdamFirst
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Re: Experience with Ulyana: upgrade, DON'T clean install

Post by AdamFirst »

@decrepit--that's what I do

Or something like it. As of now, Mint20 is working well. All new installs have that "new daily driver smell". I had to do a custom install of CherryTree and GCstar to get them working. (GCstar didn't seem to want to install, but constant banging on the keyboard seemed to work. I'm no wiz.) The only remaining thing is I've been putting off installing my Epson scanner.

I've been going with new installs for a very long time. Once upon a time, that was recommended practice.
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