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-cyrus- 10-05-2009 05:11 PM

Recent openSUSE convert looking forward to 11.2
I am a recent convert to openSUSE 11.1 from another distro that was a bit too cutting edge for my hardware, and had to spend a great deal of time sorting things out. I was keen to give KDE a try as I had always used GNOME and thought that openSUSE was the way to go.

A month or so later, I can say that I am extremely happy and am looking forward to the 11.2 stable release mid November.

To upgrade to that release, if I do a straight cp /home /usbstick and then run a live cd fresh install, will:

1. A straight cp back to /home from a usb stick keep all permissions intact including my .ssh file where I have my generated key to access my server? Or is there another command that I will have to use?

2. Would I have to reformat my HD on my ThinkPad R51 by wiping out what is there and creating a fresh /boot 200 MB /swap 2GIG and the rest / or will the fresh install do that for me if I state overwrite the current files?

3. Is it better or advisable to do a fresh install with a live cd or dvd and what are the advantages of either?


thorkelljarl 10-05-2009 07:34 PM

11.2 from 11.1...

I too look forward to 11.2. I will do a clean DVD install of the 11.2 / (root) partition in the space I now have / (root) in my 11.1 installation, leaving my swap and /home partition unformatted and therefor unchanged.

I can do this by using the "Create..." and "Expert..." options in the openSUSE partitioning tool. However, I could use a copy of PartedMagic to delete the 11.1 / (root) beforehand, leaving me an obvious space, and telling me where / (root) for 11.2 should go.

If I do no more, all the settings from my 11.1 installation should be brought forward to 11.2, but I would naturally open all the hidden files in /home that hold these settings and note where they are and back them up. Since I have never done this last bit, finding the files, I would have to ask to find out more.

I can make a full backup of/home, but if I could not, I could at least make copies of these configuration files and any others that are critical to the function of my installation.

I believe that the contents of /home need to be integrated as the particular /home of the / (root) that is installed, something that is done by installing without formatting /home, as I have described above. I assume that this would also work the same way if I opened a space with PartedMagic for 11.2 by erasing 11.1 beforehand, but I would check. It should be possible to import the contents of one /home to another, but might require more effort.

Since openSUSE seems to change the graphic interface of their partitioning tool with each release, I would use my copy of PartedMagic to shrink my /home partition a little, giving me about 10-20GB of free space. There I would try out installing 11.2 as far as the partitioning, practicing the tool's new look and feel, and gaining experience before putting the partitioner to work in all seriousness during my 11.2 installation. The 11.1 installation gives a final warning before the partitioning begins, and 11.2 should as well. I can just press annul or press the reset button and nothing changes.

I'm glad someone likes KDE4. I will be installing both it and Gnome. I'm presently using the more shot-proof KDE3.5 and will miss it.

There are threads here on the forum about the configuration files for an installation found in /home and about integrating a /home with a linux / (root).

-cyrus- 10-05-2009 08:25 PM

Ah.. yes .. I think I'll use a DVD then and use that option with the partitioning tool.

Nevertheless, as you say, will definitely backup /home just in case!

Thanks for that.


dth1 10-06-2009 11:32 AM

You can simply use the 11.2 dvd to do an upgrade - this will obviously keep all your date and settings intact. Although it is usually best to copy your data, wipe the drive and install 11.2 as a fresh installation. Then copying back your data.

Another advantage going down the fresh install route is that 11.2 defaults to ext4 (rather than ext3 which 11.1 used). This is a more advanced file system and seems a bit quicker than ext3.

-cyrus- 10-06-2009 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by dth1 (Post 3709775)
Another advantage going down the fresh install route is that 11.2 defaults to ext4 (rather than ext3 which 11.1 used). This is a more advanced file system and seems a bit quicker than ext3.

Would the DVD installer then convert my current ext3 to ext4 or do I have to use, for example, gparted first to create a /boot (on ext3 or ext4? - as I know with Ubuntu at least, grub couldn't handle ext4) and the rest (mounted on /) on ext4 ? I only have openSUSE on my laptop.

dth1 10-07-2009 06:27 AM

if you did an update - then it would keep your existing ext3 file system

it is only if you did a fresh install that ext4 would be used

thorkelljarl 10-07-2009 05:21 PM

Upgrade or clean install...

I will do a clean install because I have read several posts here by those wishing help with their linux after they have done an upgrade.

I have tried formatting and reinstalling the linux files themselves, that is /(root), while leaving my /home partition untouched and found that all of the modifications I had made in my installation were carried over unchanged, including those that I had hoped to leave behind.

When you install openSUSE 11.2 you may be presented with one file system as the installer's first choice, but you can choose another in the partitioner. openSUSE 11.2 will read both ext3, and ext4, if that is to be used as its standard file system, and a given linux file may be stored in either.

It is perhaps a question how much of a problem it is, and whether you wish or need, to convert your existing files from ext3 to ext4.

I seems possible to install /(root) as ext4, leaving /home intact as ext3, and to convert /home to ext4 thereafter, but I would check the details before I tried doing such.

Here again, backup will save you from the consequences of things that should work well but don't just.

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