Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backup?

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VanessaTL
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Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backup?

Post by VanessaTL »

I'm going to upgrade from Mint13Cinnamon to Mint17Cinnamon, I'm making back-up copies of my /home/ folder. But aside from /home/ what other directories or files should I be copying to a safe place?

One thing I'd like to copy over are all my WiFi saved passwords/SSIDs. How do I do this?

What else should be copied?

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WharfRat
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Re: Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backu

Post by WharfRat »

If you installed any applications or system tools that required any changes to their configuration files e.g. /etc/exports then you would probably want to copy them too.

Your network configuration files are located in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections although it's not all that difficult to enable your wifi.

Good luck :wink:
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VanessaTL
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how can I backup my OpenDNS config/files/folders?

Post by VanessaTL »

how can I backup my OpenDNS config/files/folders? I spent so much time setting it up on Mint13, and I don't want to invest that much time again in Mint17. What files/folders must I make copies of?
(I have ddclient setup to automatically update my IP info with OpenDNS. Because my IP is dynamic.)

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daveinuk
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Re: Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backu

Post by daveinuk »

I'm sure you'll get many ways to do this thrown at you, but personally, when I did one machine from 13 to 17 I just bit the bullet and did a fresh install, noting the software I intended to reinstall, as invariably you collect software that you use once or rarely then just leave there, gathering dust . . . . .

It's a fair jump that amount of verions IMO, and there's nothing quite like a clean fresh install, you can always backup software and files using the backup tool that's inbuilt.

I went the route of copying data from home to an external HDD, taking an export of firefox bookmarks and passes and a typed note of software I intended to reinstall.
This worked for me 'cos I figured it's an LTS and I will stick with it 'til the next, so I didn't mind starting afresh and putting in a little more effort and besides, the tweaking and pulling afterwards is half the fun anyway. . . . . . . . . . ;)

I've always installed with a separate / and /home, and on y laptop I just went for a reinstall and not formatting /home, which effectively saves all your data etc and just upgrades the OS, this is another option, and the one I would choose if the edition/distro numbers were maybe only 1 apart, but that's just me being picky, I enjoy a Mint format and install like I never did doing the same with windows, it's no trouble, and doesn't stress me out, and takes a fraction of the time, which is why I prefer to go the whole hog.

Have fun whichever method you decide to go with :)

VanessaTL
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WiFi

Post by VanessaTL »

WharfRat wrote:Your network configuration files are located in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections although it's not all that difficult to enable your wifi.
WharfRat, thank you for your post. Could we be misunderstanding each other about WiFi? You say it's easy to enable wifi, but my issue is not about the ease of enabling wifi. It's about having a record of SSIDs and passwords that my current Mint13 has saved.

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WharfRat
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Re: WiFi

Post by WharfRat »

VanessaTL wrote:
WharfRat wrote:Your network configuration files are located in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections although it's not all that difficult to enable your wifi.
WharfRat, thank you for your post. Could we be misunderstanding each other about WiFi? You say it's easy to enable wifi, but my issue is not about the ease of enabling wifi. It's about having a record of SSIDs and passwords that my current Mint13 has saved.
I guess if you use several providers then you would want to save that info. The individually named files should be in that folder.
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expat_tony
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Re: Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backu

Post by expat_tony »

First of all Vanessa, it seems you edited your thread title to 'Wifi', to reply to WharfRat (or was it him?). You'd better restore it to the original, or you'll attract the wrong set of customers and totally confuse them at that. Maybe you already have.

When you backed up your /home directory, did you include the hidden folders like .config etc. etc. ? Switch on Ctrl-H to see if they've been auto-copied to the destination disk. They contain stuff you configured like the panel settings, desklets, Firefox settings, etc.

There are also key folders in your File System, as it's called on the Places list in Nemo, that it would be useful to copy, but equally, there are others in there you don't need.
Save : /bin, /boot, /etc, /lib, /sbin, /usr, and some of /var (see below)
Don't save : /home (you got it already), /media, /mnt, /var/cache, /var/run, /var/spool, /var/tmp
Or you could save /var, then delete the last four sub-folders from the external disk.

I also suggest you look at your Home folder with hidden files switched on, do a search for any filename that includes 'opendns', and note down the hidden folders that contain those files. Do the same in the File System and check that those folders are among the ones saved. Other software you've added should be in parallel sub-folders within the same high-level folder groups anyway, so no need to do more searches.
After you copy things back again, there's no guarantee everything that worked in Mint 13 will work straight away in 17, but if it doesn't at least you'll know what updates you need to get from the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager.

VanessaTL
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Re: Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backu

Post by VanessaTL »

expat_tony wrote:First of all Vanessa, it seems you edited your thread title to 'Wifi', to reply to WharfRat (or was it him?). You'd better restore it to the original, or you'll attract the wrong set of customers and totally confuse them at that. Maybe you already have.
Hello there (hello here? :) ) expat.tony!
"Wifi" is the title for certain posts of mine within this thread titled " Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backup? " That's what I do. I thought that giving certain posts within a thread a more specific title helps everyone. Maybe I'm the only on on Mint Forums who does this sort of thing. :)
expat_tony wrote: When you backed up your /home directory, did you include the hidden folders like .config etc. etc. ? Switch on Ctrl-H to see if they've been auto-copied to the destination disk. They contain stuff you configured like the panel settings, desklets, Firefox settings, etc.

There are also key folders in your File System, as it's called on the Places list in Nemo, that it would be useful to copy, but equally, there are others in there you don't need.
Save : /bin, /boot, /etc, /lib, /sbin, /usr, and some of /var (see below)
Don't save : /home (you got it already), /media, /mnt, /var/cache, /var/run, /var/spool, /var/tmp
Or you could save /var, then delete the last four sub-folders from the external disk.

I also suggest you look at your Home folder with hidden files switched on, do a search for any filename that includes 'opendns', and note down the hidden folders that contain those files. Do the same in the File System and check that those folders are among the ones saved. Other software you've added should be in parallel sub-folders within the same high-level folder groups anyway, so no need to do more searches.
After you copy things back again, there's no guarantee everything that worked in Mint 13 will work straight away in 17, but if it doesn't at least you'll know what updates you need to get from the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager.
I didn't save any stuff from the hidden folders.
I didn't do a search for opendns, and I guess I should. But I saved the texts of the files that I remember editing or creating when I was setting up OpenDNS.

expat_tony
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Re: Besides /home folder, what other files, folders to backu

Post by expat_tony »

How long do you have use of the external drive for, by the way?
I suggest you copy everything I listed in my last post. Actually the way I did it, so as not to confuse myself, was first to create two folders on the external disk, named "backup_home" and "backup_FS".
All visible and hidden folders from Home went into the first of those, and the 7 folders I listed for you from File System went into the second. One reason is that many FS folders have the same name as hidden folders, just minus the opening dot. It helps to avoid accidental duplicate copying. It also means you can copy back the Home first, then have a good look through your main menu to see what software if anything is missing or not loading, before you copy back stuff that will overwrite part of your new file system.
If you search in Software Manager for opendns, it shows quite a lot of files. So I'm sure there are several stashed away at various places in File System and a search with your file manager now, before you copy, would really help you know what to look for when copying back.

I'm sorry to read in the other thread of your trouble with installing. But does this activity mean you aren't going to do the complete backup first?

VanessaTL
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too late to backup config files. all deleted now

Post by VanessaTL »

hi, expat.tony,

too late to backup config files. I deleted them now. all i saved are my stuff in /home/ (e.g. documents, audio, video, pics)

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