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Since I'm moving from one linux distro to another (Ubuntu 10.04 to Fedora 13), since I'm still relatively a noob and have I believe trashed my installation and would like to try a new distro (YUM rather than APT) for the sake of broadening my horizons, the only thing that I worry about are my emails (Thunderbird 3).
Everything else can be copied or installed so I'm not too worried about the rest, but my emails and the rules and all that is something that has me worried.
How can I deal with something like this so as to have as smooth a transition as possible?
Are you using Thunderbird for email? Or using some webmail system? Or what?
If you're using Thunderbird, there should be a .thunderbird subdirectory in your home directory (subdirectories whose names start with . are normally skipped in directory listings, so you may not see that it is there, but you can enable seeing that and/or you can access it even though it may not seem to be there).
Before (further) trashing your Ubuntu system, you should back up things like that, which you will still want.
After installing and starting Thunderbird in Fedora, there will be a new .thunderbird subdirectory in your new home directory. (With Thunderbird closed) try renaming that to some other name and then restoring the .thunderbird subdirectory you saved from Ubuntu. See what happens when you restart Thunderbird. If the Ubuntu and Fedora versions of Thunderbird are compatible enough, I think that will let you keep all your emails and settings. If not, you'll need to manually merge some things between the .thunderbird subdirectory created by the first startup of Thunderbird in Fedora and the saved one from Ubuntu.
But essentially, if I make a backup of my .thunderbird folder, that would make a backup/copy of the whole shebang in TB, including all the rules and so on? Nifty, I should include that in my bacula backups from now on!
Thanks, I'll give it a try and [I hope] that would set this thread as solved.
Just back up your home directory. Everything unique to you is in there. Install the new version of Linux as normal. Then log in as root, delete the home directory of the user you created during installation and replace it with the copy of your home directory from the back up. Then chmod it to make sure it's owned by the new user.
Oh and when you do the new install, put /home on to a partition by itself. That way in future you can re-install Linux and keep the home directory. Just tell the installer not to format the partition with /home on it. Though back it up first anyway of course just in case.