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Old 07-18-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
Thor_2.0
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Reinstaling but keeping /home intact


...so, can this be done? Of course, this is Linux...

Hi gang!
Okay, most know that I run Arch Linux, and I'm extatic about it. However, the next upgrade fails. There is one clean option: reinstallation. But, inquisitive about the outer edges... I'd like to know if Arch Linux allows a reinstall without having to reformat the harddrive...
The scheme is simpel
/dev/sda1 - the boot batrition, mounted as /dev/sda3/boot
/dev/sda2 - I think..that's the swap
/dev/sda3 - the patient to be operated on
/dev/sda4 - the home planet of the users(s), mounted under /dev/sda3/home

It's the last one I'd like to keep intact, and doing a reinstrall only in sda3
Can it be done?
Of course, I'd only venture into the pool if 1) after a backup and if 2) there's water

Thanks Gang!

Thor
 
Old 07-18-2012, 06:26 PM   #2
Kustom42
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Never used arch but I don't see any reason you wouldn't be able to as your / is a separate partition/filesystem from /home/. Unless, arch linux has some wierd method of installation which is drastically different from red hat installs you can do this without worry(as long as you have good backups).
 
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
Roken
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When you install you will be given the option to partition. Simply mount your existing /home as /home and you are good to go.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
suicidaleggroll
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Never used Arch, but most other distros wouldn't have a problem with this. Just make sure you set the partition layout manually. Set up your partitions the same as before, and if its anything like the installation of other distros you should be able to choose which partitions do/do not get formatted. You'd simply set up the mount location for each partition the same as before, and tell it to format all of them but /home.

You could also just do your installation normally, except just leave /home alone (no pun intended). Then once you're up and running, it would be easy enough to move /home from wherever the install put it back onto your dedicated partition. I do this all the time when setting up a new system with a hardware RAID (that needs a custom kernel module which I dont wan't to futz with during install) that I want to use for /home.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 07-18-2012 at 08:23 PM.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 08:30 PM   #5
grail
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So without trying to hijack Thor's question, if we assume there are several users stored in the home directory, what is the process for setting them all back up?

Are you able to simply backup the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files and copy them back so users are not locked out?
Or are you required to re-add, using a script I would guess, all the users with passwords they will need to change?
 
Old 07-18-2012, 10:07 PM   #6
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I think you may also need /etc/shadow too, but if you simply want the data that belongs to those users (not including the username's and such), then all you need to back up is /home.
 
Old 07-18-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
linuxStudent11
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Related issue here.
I just botched an update into an LVM/Raid system. I can't boot into it anymore, but I can mount the Raid/LVM set and copy out /home. See my recent thread at http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...nd-4175417478/


Is that good enough if I want to copy /home into a completely new system?

Here's the hard part. There's a /home/.encryptfs/<eachUser> set of directories. The password for those directories is known only by "the system", the passphrase is known only to each user. If I copy /home into a new Ubuntu installation, or whatever, would the users be able to access their (old) encrypted files simply by signing in to the new system?
So, question to TommyC7, would copying /home be good enough for users that have encryption directories? or maybe their entire /home/user that is encrypted?

Should this be a separate thread?
I'm guessing you can't do what TommyC7 suggests (if ArchLinux does this, same as Ubuntu). Because if you could, it would be a large hole in the encryption security.
 
Old 07-19-2012, 02:36 AM   #8
Thor_2.0
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Thanks for all these helpful replies.

@Kustom42 - well, I'd proceed after a verified backup to an exernal drive. There's only my data so that should be easyy enough...
@Roken - if I mount /home dont I risk the partitioner "getting to the good stuff"? Unless you neams mounting /dev/sdq3/home as itself...
@suicidaleggroll - I stretched the OS partition before with PartedLive...but I suppose that's not an issue...
@grail and @linuxStudent11 - thanks for joining in! Your questione could help all over.
@TommyC7 - maybe the simpliest option...

I'll fire up a redundant PC here that has Arch on the disk and give these suggestions a go! But...it'll have to be for the weekend...this could be a lengthy process...

Thor
 
Old 07-19-2012, 03:07 AM   #9
Roken
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You aren't going to repartition your /home drive/partition. You will simply mount it in /home on your new Arch installation. You can do this either during installation (probably the better option since Arch specific configs in /home will be properly written, or you can do it after the event by amending fstab. If you choose the latter you will probably need to merge the new /home directory created by Arch with your existing /home partition first to avoid problems.

When I moved to Arch I used the former without issue.
 
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:46 AM   #10
Thor_2.0
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Okay, now this:

Quote:
When I moved to Arch I used the former without issue.
is most reassuring.
No formatting, just installing and (manually) mount the home partition in the home folder...this I can do

Thanks

Thor
 
  


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