Originally Posted by Vegan
So i am looking into upgrading from Fedora 12 to Fedora 13.
I will be Backing up my /home tonight onto an external harddrive to do the update
My question is when i put my /home onto the new installation what all is going to be copied over???
Settings, themes, programs, startup apps, etc
Or should i be backing another filesystem up to get all of that?
If you use a good backup that copies all hidden files and directories, all of your settings, themes, programs and startup apps should transfer over. I regularly upgrade my CentOS box, and use a tar-to-tar backup of the /home filesystem, and have had a good experience. The only issue you may have is if you're performing a major upgrade, where Xorg/X has changed significantly, and sometimes that means that your hidden configuration files on the old version, aren't found/useful/converted with the newer version. Permissions are important, so simply copying over the files from /home isn't enough sometimes. Do a test run, and make sure the files and directories have the correct ownership and permissions. The best thing would be for all ownership and permissions to transfer completely. Some programs restore permissions as the executing user, which for a system-wide backup is most likely going to be root - bad mojo.
Another thing to consider is applications (such as Squirrelmail, for example), which store their data in places outside of the user's home directory. Also, if you're running a web server (Apache), you may have a /var/www/html directory to copy over, and configuration settings over in /etc/httpd.
My recommendation would be to backup the entire root filesystem, including /etc, /var (if not a whole-root filesystem, where these are underneath the root / partition). This way, if you find you are missing a configuration file, or some outlier data, you'll have it in backup.
An even better idea, if you can afford this, is to pull your Fedora 12 disks out entirely, and perform a fresh installation. Once complete, plug your Fedora 12 disks back in as secondary drives, mount the /home and root / partitions, and copy things over that way. It costs a little more, but with drives being so cheap now, this also gives you the benefit of having newer hard drives in the server, which resets the MTBF (mean-time between failure), giving you more time before your next hard drive crash.
Lots to think about, and hope this helped!