Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

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Fraoch
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Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

Post by Fraoch »

I'm a long time Ubuntu user and I just checked out Ubuntu 12.04 LTS...ohh boy, I've had it with Unity now, I'm moving on to Linux Mint...

So hello everybody! :D

I have / and /home on separate drives and last time I reinstalled the OS (because I replaced my / drive) I simply installed the OS to the / drive and asked the installer to use the other drive as /home. That worked very well, all my files and data and even program settings were preserved.

Seeing as Mint is based on Ubuntu, would I be able to do the same thing when I install Mint?

I don't see how this would be a problem for the average program, what I'm worried about is system settings files on my /home drive like .Xauthority, .nvidia-settings-rc, .bashrc, etc. Would the settings in these files in Ubuntu cause serious problems in Mint?

Thank you!
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Danko8321
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Re: Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

Post by Danko8321 »

No problem at all, feel free to reuse your /home partition. That's actually what it's made for :D

Anyway, do the same thing, format / and tell the installer to use the other partition (drive?) as /home. You'll be good to go. Cheers and welcome to our humble community. Danko.
Cheer up! Things are getting worse at a slower rate.
olle
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Re: Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

Post by olle »

I wouldn't recommend that kind of update installation, there are lots of files hidden in the /home.
The hidden files contain setup information of your used programs and desktop. In the new installation these might be erranous.
Make a backup copy of all your own produced data ( like Music, Video, Downloads etc.)
Your email is in the hidden folder in /home, make a backup of it as well ( .thunderbird or .mozilla or whatever your email is called).

Recommended reading:http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2
Fraoch
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Re: Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

Post by Fraoch »

Thanks for the responses.
olle wrote:I wouldn't recommend that kind of update installation, there are lots of files hidden in the /home.
The hidden files contain setup information of your used programs and desktop. In the new installation these might be erranous.
See...this is what I was worried about.

Some of the hidden files and directories are obvious as they are named after the application. Some files are not, like those I mentioned above. Even the directories could contain settings that are incompatible with Mint.
That's an EXCELLENT tutorial. The backup tool is great, and I especially like the fact that it can backup which programs are installed as well.
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Danko8321
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Re: Moving from Ubuntu - can I keep my /home?

Post by Danko8321 »

olle wrote:I wouldn't recommend that kind of update installation, there are lots of files hidden in the /home.
The hidden files contain setup information of your used programs and desktop. In the new installation these might be erranous.
Make a backup copy of all your own produced data ( like Music, Video, Downloads etc.)
Your email is in the hidden folder in /home, make a backup of it as well ( .thunderbird or .mozilla or whatever your email is called).

Recommended reading:http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2
Well, yes and no. Your concern about hidden files is true but unnecesary. You see, even if these files were to conflict with new settings or instances of programs, developers adjust new versions of their sofware to deal with old versions of config files, be it by enabling them to read old configs, by translating those configs into something else or simply by deleting and ignoring them; can you imagine the dissaster if, say, a new version of firefox conflicted with its own config files? Can you imagine the huge problem it would be for, say, Cinnamon if it couldn't read it's own configuration files after an update? Both updates happen quickly and developers aren't stupid, they know of this conflicts and realize this kind of things can be real-life scenarios that happen every day. Thus, they think of a way for avoinding such regretable cases. They *translate* the old config files to the new versions "language" in order to make it compatible or delete it and ignore it. Config files aren't that much of a pain; if they were, nobody would ever use Debian Unstable (imagine about 40 package updates per day) :lol:

My say is don't worry all that much about config files unless you are moving into an *older* version of mint (and, thus, an older version of Firefox) since it *does not* happen backwards. New versions can read (or in the worst case, delete) config files from older versions, but that does not happen with an older version since, well, the new version didn't exist back then! :mrgreen:

Also, think of the people that perform package updates (like those folks using Ubuntu); they simply get new versions of everything without having to reinstall or anything like that, so if hidden files were such a big problem, package updates would be dissastrous *every single time*. I have done about 40 reinstalls/upgrades in my time with Linux and have never had a single problem with config files. However, there was this one time when I reused a Mint 12 home into a Mint 11 install, which counts as downgrading. I ended up without panels or mouse :lol: . However, I just deleted the .config directory and everithing went normal again.

That is just about config files; olle has a very good point regarding reinstalls and it *is* a lot safer to backup your stuff. Go with his method for safety. My unfinishable nag about config files is just for trying to clear out an unexplicable fear to config files I've seen in this community. Good Luck and Cheers. Danko.
Cheer up! Things are getting worse at a slower rate.
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