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Old 04-07-2004, 11:42 PM   #1
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Converting from RedHat 9.0 to Debian

Alright, first post as a newbie...

Ok, so I have RedHat 9.0 on my Dell SmartStep 200N laptop at the moment, but as we all know Redhat is end of life-ing all distributions except Enterprise and I don't want to pay for that.

My quandry is this: I want to change from RH9 to Debian Unstable (I do have decent grasp on the workings of debian) but when I installed redhat I decided to dual boot my machine with XP and created only one partition for Redhat files (including the home directory). What I want to know is if it is possible to convert to Debian by rewriting my current Red Hat setup all while keeping the grub working and my home directory intact?

Thanks for any insight!!

Old 04-08-2004, 01:11 AM   #2
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in theory it should be possible to install Debian without removing the home directory by removing all directories but /home. Then install debian and skip the creation of a file-system on your partition. Of course this will only work if the version of the fs used by debian is at least the same rh uses.
I don't think that it is advisable to do this because of the config files in your home directory that may or may not be compatible with the programs shipped with debian.
As it would be a risk not to backup your /home, I think it'd be easier to copy /home somewhere else, install Debian from scratch and then copy your data to the new /home.
By default the setup process detects the presens of other other boot-loaders and asks you if you'd like to include this in your lilo.conf. Of course you can install an configure grub your own using your current config file as a template.

Last edited by shedir; 04-08-2004 at 01:12 AM.
Old 04-08-2004, 06:17 PM   #3
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don't install everything on the same partition. You could want to experiment something else or be obliged to reinstall for some reason. Most of the time people have at least a boot partition and a home partition. I suggest you use parted or another tool to create a home partition and move your home directory on it and at debian installation, just mount it without formating it.
Old 04-08-2004, 10:58 PM   #4
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bob, to answer your questions no.

if you only make one partition everything will be overwritten with a new install of a different distro. same with the grub.

debian uses grub by defauit, so if you know how to play with it, you can configure it before you reboot and run.
make a cp of all the important things in your home. drop them onto a disk, cd. then just cp them back to your new home, chown -R bob:bob /home/bob , that will take care of it for you.



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