LinuxQuestions.org

LinuxQuestions.org (/questions/)
-   Linux - Newbie (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/)
-   -   Question about Backup: Can I Use the /home directory from one distro in another? (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-newbie-8/question-about-backup-can-i-use-the-home-directory-from-one-distro-in-another-765149/)

cubdukat 10-28-2009 07:43 PM

Question about Backup: Can I Use the /home directory from one distro in another?
 
I installed the beta of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic, and I am now stuck with a barely usable system, so I am going to remove it. I've already backed up the home directory, and what I was wondering is this:

If I were to install a completely different distro, like, say, OpenSUSE, would I be able to copy back my home directory without problems and have things still work, or would I have to reinstall Karmic? I had always believed that Linux distros were more or less the same except for cosmetic differences, but this seems like it'd be a different case somehow..

fang0654 10-28-2009 07:55 PM

I've tried this in the past and my usual result was that I would have a working system with a lot of weird quirks. Some software may have incompatible config files sitting in your home folder.

On a side note, you can try updating your beta Karmic again, and may get a more stable desktop. I've been updating pretty much every day for the past month, and have cycled in and out of unusability :)

The easiest way is just issue the following command:

Code:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade -y

catkin 10-29-2009 04:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cubdukat (Post 3735918)
If I were to install a completely different distro, like, say, OpenSUSE, would I be able to copy back my home directory without problems ...

Yes and no; some things would and some things would not. That means you can't do it and be sure everything would work.

It may be that during the change-over, you want to dual-boot until you are confident that the new distro is OK for you -- and that means having your data files available under both distros.

One solution is to separate the "distro-specific" from the "not distro-specific". I have /home/c as part of the / file system, containing all the distro-specific files and /home/c/d as a separate file system containing all the "not distro-specific" files and mounted under both distros
Code:

root:/etc# df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/root            5.7G  4.6G  775M  86% /
/dev/mapper/CW8-home  50G  26G  22G  54% /home/c/d

Configuration directories for apps that are normally under /home/c were moved to /home/c/d and symlinks to them created in /home/c
Code:

c:~$ ls -Al | grep '^l'
lrwxrwxrwx  1 c users    13 Oct  6 01:17 .VirtualBox -> d/.VirtualBox
lrwxrwxrwx  1 c users    10 Oct  6 01:17 .azureus -> d/.azureus
lrwxrwxrwx  1 c users    14 Oct  6 01:18 .googleearth -> d/.googleearth
lrwxrwxrwx  1 c users    10 Oct  6 01:18 .keepass -> d/.keepass
lrwxrwxrwx  1 c users    18 Oct  6 01:19 .openoffice.org -> d/.openoffice.org/

Nothing broke!

AngTheo789 10-29-2009 04:47 AM

I would suggest that you keep separate backups for your own files in your home directory, and a separate backup of all the invisible files and directories within your home folder. For some applications it will be easier to use the installed configuration files, in other cases (like a mail application, Thunderbird for example) you will need to replace the application data with the data from your backup.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:51 AM.