[SOLVED] Save "Home" with installation

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Aily
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[SOLVED] Save "Home" with installation

Post by Aily »

Heya,

I'm still quite new to Linux and have used my first Linux OS, LM MATE 18.0 for a year now and love it. Which probably should keep me from installing a new Os... :shock:

Anyway, I've got this idea where I'd like to try LM KDE 18.1 since it looked kind of nice. Anything I should keep in mind when changing from MATE to KDE?

I use my pc for:
  • Storage of my bought books and to move them from my pc to my e-reader.
    Listening to music, mostly just streaming from spotify.
    E-mails.
    The odd game I play. Some of them I use with wine/playonlinux since they are windows only games.
    Organize photos.
    Writing a lot (LibreOffice Writer).
    Watch the odd video/movie.
A lot of things are saved in my Home folder. I will make a backup on everything, but is there a way to keep my Home folder as it is, with all the files, without it being erased, when I make a new install?

Thank you in advance. :)
Last edited by Aily on Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cosmo.
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Cosmo. »

At first and in any case: Backup your user data.

If your user data can get preserved during install depends, if you have placed your home on a separate partition. In case you should have the automatic method to install Mint, this is not the case.
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Aily
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Aily »

Cosmo. wrote:At first and in any case: Backup your user data.

If your user data can get preserved during install depends, if you have placed your home on a separate partition. In case you should have the automatic method to install Mint, this is not the case.
I've got Home on a separate partition so this will be interesting. :mrgreen:
Thank you!
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Cosmo.
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Cosmo. »

In this case you can in the Mint installer use the method "something else". Now you have to assign all needed partitions to their respective mount points (for system partition this is / ). For the system partition you should set to format it, for the home partition you need to make sure, that formatting is disabled.

But anyway: Do a backup at first. If you make a little mistake (can happen to everybody), than this will be only chance to get them back.
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by mr_raider »

Make sure you delete the hidden config files and directories in your home folder. They start with a .

Erase any hidden files and folders related to gnome or gnome apps or mate related apps. You can keep .Mozilla and the like.
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Hoser Rob
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Hoser Rob »

Aily wrote:
Cosmo. wrote:At first and in any case: Backup your user data.

If your user data can get preserved during install depends, if you have placed your home on a separate partition. In case you should have the automatic method to install Mint, this is not the case.
I've got Home on a separate partition so this will be interesting. :mrgreen:
Thank you!
Actually, haviing a separate /home partition is going to make resintalling EASIER and hence less interesting perhaps.

Also, +1 to cosmo's rec a couple of posts later. Just make sure you don't tell the installer to format /home. And back up your data anyway.

I don't think you'll really HAVE to delete all your hidden config files in /home but I'd also back them up. They may be an issue if you were, say, going from Xfce to LXDE because the latter often uses Xfce libraries but they may not be the right versions. But MATE to KDE shouldn't be a problem.
acerimusdux
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by acerimusdux »

Aily wrote: I've got Home on a separate partition so this will be interesting. :mrgreen:
Thank you!
It should be pretty easy, then.

Just select "something else" or "custom" in the installer, so you aren't using the whole drive. And install everything to your current / partition.

When you reboot into the new system, you will have a new /home directory on the root partition. Now edit your /etc/fstab and add a line which tells it to mount the old partition as /home. If you look at your existing /etc/fstab, the line you need will be exactly the same as the line which mounts /home in your current file. You could just write that line down now. Alternatively, you can use blkid to get the UUID of the /home partition, and just copy the existing line for /, replacing the UUID and mount point (and changing the last number on the line, which is just the order fschk uses when checking the drives).

Reboot and it should now mount your old /home, and probably everything will work (at least going MATE to KDE).

In the event there are any problems, you can probably solve them by deleting configuration files in your home directory for the program having trouble. A problem also could be caused by the configuration files which are installed for every new user not having been installed to your old /home. Those files are located in /etc/skel. Just another place to look if you need to troubleshoot, but more than likely you won't have any problems.
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by gold_finger »

acerimusdux wrote:Just select "something else" or "custom" in the installer, so you aren't using the whole drive.
I just found out the other day on a test install that KDE calls this option "Manual", whereas all other Mints call it "Something Else". ("Manual" makes more sense to me. Don't know why the others use "Something Else".)
acerimusdux wrote:And install everything to your current / partition.

When you reboot into the new system, you will have a new /home directory on the root partition.... Now edit your /etc/fstab and add a line which tells it to mount the old partition as /home.

Reboot and it should now mount your old /home, and probably everything will work (at least going MATE to KDE).
This actually will not work. Doing it this way would result in various KDE specific user config files being setup in /home directory under root. If you then just switch to old Mate home partition none of those KDE configs will be there and system won't work properly.

Best and easiest way to install would be what Cosmo recommended: set mount points for both root (/) and home (/home), but only format the root partition during install. That way new KDE configs will end up in old Mate home and, unless some of them conflict with existing Mate configs, system will work as it should.
Last edited by gold_finger on Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Spearmint2 »

I just found out the other day on a test install that KDE calls this option "Manual", whereas all other Mints call it "Something Else". ("Manual" makes more sense to me. Don't know why the others use "Something Else".)
because if you don't do it right, you most certainly end up with "Something Else".
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Aily
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Aily »

Spearmint2 wrote:
I just found out the other day on a test install that KDE calls this option "Manual", whereas all other Mints call it "Something Else". ("Manual" makes more sense to me. Don't know why the others use "Something Else".)
because if you don't do it right, you most certainly end up with "Something Else".
Haha... that was funny. :lol:
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gold_finger
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by gold_finger »

Spearmint2 wrote:because if you don't do it right, you most certainly end up with "Something Else".
Good answer! :lol:
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Aily
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by Aily »

Thank you everyone. It worked like a charm!

Without knowing why I removed those hidden gnome and mate files/folders like suggested. :wink:
At the installation (something else) I used the partitions I had, one for / and one for /home. The one for /home I didn't format. Then I just installed it and everything was done just like I wanted it to. My Home partition looked just like it did in MATE... more or less (it had another file manager).

Today, a day later, I changed my mind though, and wanted to get MATE back. :oops:
I just did the same, but removed hidden kde files instead (without knowing why again, though it seemed like the logic thing to do).
It worked just as fine. :)

And while trying to find out if it would work the same way the other way around, I found this thread on the same topic, so I put it here too, if anyone else is looking for it. viewtopic.php?t=230859

Thank you again!
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acerimusdux
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Re: Save "Home" with installation

Post by acerimusdux »

gold_finger wrote:This actually will not work. Doing it this way would result in various KDE specific user config files being setup in /home directory under root. If you then just switch to old Mate home partition none of those KDE configs will be there and system won't work properly.

Best and easiest way to install would be what Cosmo recommended: set mount points for both root (/) and home (/home), but only format the root partition during install. That way new KDE configs will end up in old Mate home and, unless some of them conflict with existing Mate configs, system will work as it should.
Ah, sorry. I guess I should have mentioned that I haven't actually done this with KDE (though I've done it switching from Mate to XFCE in the past, and very recently from XFCE to the new Cinnamon Beta on a couple of machines). And I REALLY should have mentioned that when I do this, I typically don't actually sign into the desktop on that first boot. If possible, I CTL-ALT-F1 to a console, and edit that file from a command line, before rebooting.

But so long as the installer can nicely handle installing to an existing /home partition without formatting or overwriting existing configurations, you are right, that is the easier way to do things. Possibly there was a time when this didn't work, and I guess I've been doing this the hard way now for a long time just out of force of habit. Or maybe just because I'm paranoid about letting the installer ever touch any partition on which I already have data I want to keep.
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Re: [SOLVED] Save "Home" with installation

Post by Jim Hauser »

I always make a weekly "copy" of my home folder onto a separate drive using dolphin. After a new installation I can copy it back. I have found that sometimes even the hidden files come in handy. I can restore all of my Calibre libraries without rebuilding them from scratch. The same with all of my Digi-Cam albums.

Cosmo gave the best advice for installing with a separate /home partition. It has always worked well for me in the past and keeps me from having to copy everything back in. Backups are King!

Cheers!

Jim
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