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Old 06-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
syklone
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Migrating from 32 to 64


Good morning, I am hoping someone can help me out in little steps since I am still new at using this OS.

I am running 12.04 Ubuntu 32 bit.

I don't mind reinstalling, and I understand it is likely the easiest path to take. I would like to avoid losing all my settings, emails, and applications, and saved passwords.

Are there any concise steps for doing this?
 
Old 06-13-2013, 11:01 AM   #2
suicidaleggroll
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It sounds like if you back up your home directory in its entirety (including all hidden files/folders) it'll take care of most of what you're asking for (desktop settings, emails, and I'm assuming by "saved passwords" you mean in your web browser). Applications will need to be re-installed, especially since you'll be re-installing the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version, but that rarely takes much time, especially if you make a list of what you need ahead of time. Application settings are generally stored in /etc/, so you should make a backup of that as well.
 
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
syklone
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Thank you for the info.

Sounds pretty simple. I should be able to print the contents of the directory to my printer?
 
Old 06-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
shane25119
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In the past I have always kept my /home directory on a separate partition. All settings (ie: how I have my desktop set up just so, live there. So when doing a reinstall (either from 32 to 64 or 32 to 32/ 64 to 64), all I have to do is reinstall software. It should be pretty easy to do here.

My approach never did application settings, but I didn't find it too tedious to redo my application settings.

Why would you want to print out the directory contents?
 
Old 06-13-2013, 12:17 PM   #5
syklone
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That is good advice.

On a 2 TB drive, how would you recommend that I partition it? (size wise)
 
Old 06-13-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
suicidaleggroll
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Depends on what you do and where you like to put things. Personally, given my usage, I generally do around 50GB for /, 5GB for swap, and everything else for /home
 
Old 06-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #7
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syklone View Post
I don't mind reinstalling, and I understand it is likely the easiest path to take. I would like to avoid losing all my settings, emails, and applications, and saved passwords.
I suggest a different basic approach than others are suggesting. Based on my experience, this is a better way assuming you have enough free space to do it this way:

First shrink the partitions of your existing install. If you have a swap partition, no reason to shrink that. It can be reused by the new install.

Next install the new version into new (except for swap) partitions made from the unpartitioned space left by shrinking the old install. The installer will probably default to detecting the old install and setting up dual boot as it installs new boot code. If not, you may want to set up that dual boot.

In the new system, temporarily mount one or more partitions of the old system. Figure out what needs to be copied and copy it.

When I have done this, I usually need to reboot back to the old system a few times to compare behaviors and deduce the source of such behaviors in order to find what needs to be copied.

Maybe someone more expert and more organized can figure out in advance what needs to be backed up from the old and restored to the new. I can't. Having a bootable old system to compare makes it much easier to figure out what you should have copied but missed on the first try.

Once you are confident the new system is right, unconfigure the dual boot in grub and delete the old partitions and grow the new partitions, so you are back to having lots of free space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by syklone View Post
On a 2 TB drive, how would you recommend that I partition it? (size wise)
For ordinary home use of Linux, 2TB is so absurdly much that you are just wasting space. 2TB is also pretty cheap, so who cares how you waste it.

But maybe your use isn't ordinary. In that case how you partition the space completely depends on how you intend to use the space.

For example, maybe you want to edit videos (or do anything else that involves massive amounts of data). In that case, I strongly suggest having a /data partition (exact name doesn't matter, just not one of the standard Linux directory names).

As you will discover in reinstalling for 64-bit, the standard directories (especially /home) contain a mix of stuff you want to preserve across reinstall and stuff you can't preserve. Whatever backup, copy etc. mechanism you choose gets very messy if the data is massive.

But a non standard partition such as /data can just sit there undisturbed across the reinstall.

Often the things you put in /data ought to act as if they are deep inside /home. That is easy in Linux using either symbolic links or certain kinds of mount.

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-13-2013 at 01:07 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2013, 01:04 PM   #8
syklone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
Depends on what you do and where you like to put things. Personally, given my usage, I generally do around 50GB for /, 5GB for swap, and everything else for /home
Do applications install in / or in /home ?

or rather, I should ask perhaps, what is installed in / Seems that 50G means its just the OS, and such?
 
Old 06-13-2013, 01:06 PM   #9
syklone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
I suggest a different basic approach than others are suggesting. Based on my experience, this is a better way assuming you have enough free space to do it this way:

First shrink the partitions of your existing install. If you have a swap partition, no reason to shrink that. It can be reused by the new install.

<snip>

Once you are confident the new system is right, unconfigure the dual boot in grub and delete the old partitions and grow the new partitions, so you are back to having lots of free space.
I am open to this path as well. Seems quite fail-safe. (hope I don't jinx myself lol)
 
Old 06-13-2013, 01:12 PM   #10
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syklone View Post
Do applications install in / or in /home ?
Applications installed by the package manager do not go in /home.

Applications you might download from the application web site and install in some custom way, might go in /home. I'm not suggesting you do that. Just qualifying the statement that applications do not install in /home.

Quote:
what is installed in / Seems that 50G means its just the OS, and such?
50GB is a LOT. That is typically enough for the OS plus all the applications you will install, plus a lot of log files and other stuff. BTW, I was editing more about that part of your question into my previous post while you were replying. So you might reread that.

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-13-2013 at 01:14 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
syklone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
For ordinary home use of Linux, 2TB is so absurdly much that you are just wasting space. 2TB is also pretty cheap, so who cares how you waste it.

But maybe your use isn't ordinary. In that case how you partition the space completely depends on how you intend to use the space.
Well I fix computers, and I use Linux (Ubuntu) as a primary tool for this purpose. Typically, it is pretty mundane use, email, surfing, mounting NTFS and manipulating files. Sometimes, I will copy the contents of an NTFS drive to my desktop to preserve it if I want to get aggressive in the repairs. I also use it as a demo bed for customers that want to know what Linux is. I will admit, I am far from a master, but in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king so to speak.

I have several clients that I have converted, and they are pretty happy. I just have to keep a few steps ahead of them

Either way, my environment allows me a lot of neat upgrades, the 2TB was free and who does not want a free 2TB to play with! I would like to max out my mobo in RAM too, just to see how fast I can make this thing fly. There is also a little professional competition here between co-workers. I am winning, but I want to obliterate them
 
Old 06-13-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
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That sounds like you ought to keep a decent amount of unpartitioned space. Maybe after you finish that upgrade don't expand into all the space left by deleting the old partitions.

As a non expert supporting customers, you probably will find the need to do an occasional test install onto your own system without disturbing your main install of Linux. (Be sure you know how to fix the boot code of your main install after such stunts).

Having unpartitioned space available saves you from a slow operation to shrink partitions before such experiments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by syklone View Post
Sometimes, I will copy the contents of an NTFS drive to my desktop to preserve it if I want to get aggressive in the repairs.
Let me suggest an alternative to that as well:

Copy the image of the NTFS drive rather than its contents. If the NTFS is messed up (likely by the time they need your help) it may be hard to know you have all the contents until later in the repair attempt, by which time it is too late (been there, done that ).
I think you can loop mount an NTFS partition imaged as a file (I don't have detailed instructions). But I would tend to create a partition (from that unpartitioned space you would keep around) and image the NTFS to that partition, then mount that.

But on your original question: Your desktop is inside /home, so if you want to use your desktop that way, /home must be big.

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-13-2013 at 02:27 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
syklone
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I am in the process of trimming the fat out of it now. I have a second 2TB drive that I have in a cradle that I am putting stuff on.

I just wish I could get my POS system running on this platform, but alas its not even remotely supported, so I am hand-tied in that aspect.

I made an image of this install, just in case.

The work I do on NTFS usually does not require an image, but its good to know how. Most of the time I just use Linux as a brute-force method to mount NTFS, and delete a file, or do a manual registry rollback.

I tried once playing with FOG, but I was not able to get it running. Will Linux act as a deployment server for multiple OS's that are not machine specific? IE legal ISO of an OEM image that I can PXE boot and install?


You raise an interesting point. Is it possible to mount an NTFS drive in a VM?

Last edited by syklone; 06-13-2013 at 02:37 PM.
 
Old 06-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
chrism01
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If you've got the ntfs-3g pkg installed, I don't see why not.
(assuming vm is Linux OS).
If the ntfs is the whole OS and it still works, you can create an MS env VM using eg KVM or others.

Last edited by chrism01; 06-13-2013 at 09:25 PM.
 
Old 06-14-2013, 04:56 PM   #15
syklone
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Completed the install. It went mostly without hiccups.

Before I started, I made a backup with the Ubuntu Backup tool.

The few things that I missed, I was able to recover from that backup.

System is running very Very fast, and I now have a new thing learned. I appreciate all the input.. Thanks!
 
  


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