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Old 11-24-2013, 04:03 PM   #1
clem11388
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Question Re-install to different distro without losing any applications


Ok, I have a current installation of Elementary OS. I do really like it for many reasons, mostly aesthetics though. But I really hate how they refuse to support Legacy App Indicators. I find a lot of older apps that still need this or they won't even install, or others won't work they way I'd like them to. So I want to re-install with another OS that does support this. Havn't chose one yet so I planned on distro hopping until I found a good match.

I have all my home, root, and personal data files all on separate partitions so I think I can install without affecting my data files.(Image of Gparted Attached) But I have some apps that I really don't want to loose. Is there anyway to save these apps (physically, not just knowing where to download, or saving the repository) and all they're dependencies so that they will start right up with the new install?

If these applications can be backed up for now, after that for the new install, is there anyway to either have all apps no matter what install to a separate partition including all dependencies, or to my home or data partitions?

If I can get all this worked out it would be great. When new distro's come out or have big updates, I'm always tempted to try them out in day to day use as long as they seems stable enough. I would use Virtual machines but my only computer is a Acre Laptop with not much power, so that pretty much out for really testing.

Thank you for all the help you can give, and God Bless.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:09 PM   #2
snowpine
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I googled "Legacy App Indicators" and found exactly zero hits (they haven't indexed this page yet) so can you please clarify what you mean for those of us who may be unfamiliar with the term?

Generally speaking, you will get better results if you reinstall your favorite apps on the new distro from that particular distro's repositories. Of course their may be exceptions to that general rule (for example programs like Firefox are distributed as standalone pre-compiled binaries) so maybe you can list one or more specific apps that you are wondering about?

Last edited by snowpine; 11-24-2013 at 05:59 PM.
 
Old 11-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
acid_kewpie
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No, it's very unlikely that that's possible. Presuming your programs are compiled code, that code will be built against specific versions of the underlying libraries, and those libraries, e.g. glibc, kernel routines, will be different.
 
Old 11-24-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
ericson007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acid_kewpie View Post
No, it's very unlikely that that's possible. Presuming your programs are compiled code, that code will be built against specific versions of the underlying libraries, and those libraries, e.g. glibc, kernel routines, will be different.
Apart from that, let's say it is doable. Which in my view, theoretically it is. Taking forcing compatible packages etc to be installed and maintained at their versions... all the manual linking... i think the stress and workload vs. Just reinstalling is not worth it.

So in theory, yes you can do it, but in practice, not a chance.

I suppose the best you can do is look in the package log for what is installed, make a file containing the packages, then double check names and pipe the file through your new package manager.

Last edited by ericson007; 11-24-2013 at 05:50 PM.
 
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
jamison20000e
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Not to mention (if guru-doable) having to limit the distro to the priors setups...Attachment 14046Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu that's based on a Debian's legacy also my favorite from twenty years of distro hopping do a ḟŕšĥ install and the apps will follow.

:Edit\add.

Last edited by jamison20000e; 08-18-2014 at 12:52 PM.
 
Old 11-26-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
clem11388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
I googled "Legacy App Indicators" and found exactly zero hits (they haven't indexed this page yet) so can you please clarify what you mean for those of us who may be unfamiliar with the term?

Generally speaking, you will get better results if you reinstall your favorite apps on the new distro from that particular distro's repositories. Of course their may be exceptions to that general rule (for example programs like Firefox are distributed as standalone pre-compiled binaries) so maybe you can list one or more specific apps that you are wondering about?
Legacy App Indicators refers to how Ubuntu and Other GTK OS's would have an indicator applet next to the system tray. Apps can place icons there for when they are minimized, or that could be the only visual part of the app and no window interface at all. Shutter has this, Keypass, Handbrake, Clementine, and many others. The deal breaker was when Handbrake would not install at all because the app indicator package it "depended on" was not installed at all. And Many other apps are the same way.

So that is why I wish to install a more legacy respecting OS. I don't mind new ideas and ways of doing things, but forcing users to do things your way by completely disabling older ways is NOT the GNU/Linux way. Regardless of how attractive the Elementary OS may be.

Main apps I was concerned about in order of importance:
- Minitube 2.0 or earlier. Because the most recent version has removed the ability to download videos. And the site "Keepvid" doesn't work any more. At least not for me.

- Aard Dictionary. I can't remember why but for some reason this app was hard to get installed. But I love it for both my Android device as well as desktop.

- Multibit Bitcoin Wallet. This is only a recent install. And I have no coins currently. But if I have the wallet address linked to a coin generator on my Android, and if I reinstall I assume that address will change for the wallet, and then those coins linked to that address on my Android phone will be lost. Only at .001101, bust with Bitcoin value going up so much, that is nothing to sneeze at.

Its not the end of the world, but I really wanted to try hard to make sure I didn't jump the gun on this one. And if I reinstall, how do I ensure I don't loose settings for these apps? And is there no way to run apps and all their respective dependencies from a separate partition, to be sure nothing is long if reinstalling??

Last edited by clem11388; 11-26-2013 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Added info.
 
Old 11-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #7
clem11388
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Also, by the way, Thank you all for the many replies so fast!! it really was heart warming to see that much activity in a short time.
 
Old 11-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
jamison20000e
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"The GNU/Linux way" differs (now a days even differ$) and at times must move forward so you may have to search out alternative apps\OSs, run VMs, deal with security vulnerabilities, become a Guru, etc. Good luck, I'm off to work so can't look up or see if my Debian has alternatives for your list now...
 
Old 11-26-2013, 06:23 PM   #9
snowpine
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Thanks for the information about Elementary OS... I have not tried it, but I see it is based on Ubuntu? One thing about Ubuntu, they are kind of notorious for arbitrary changes; "forcing users to do things your way by completely disabling older ways" is pretty much their entire business plan.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with your specific apps. Generally speaking, apps keep their settings in hidden "dot" folders in your home folder (for example Firefox settings are in ~/.mozilla) so if you copy these config folders to another distro based on the same Ubuntu release (for example Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Mint, etc.) you might have a relatively seamless experience.

For that matter, did you know you can try different desktop environments without switching distros or completely reinstalling? (Although a precautionary backup is always a good idea.) For example, if you are running an Ubuntu-based distro (like Elementary OS) and want to give Xfce DE a try (losing none of your apps or settings), you could follow this guide: http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/xfce
 
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