Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Install openSuse but keeping home partition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Jersey, Channel Islands (UK)
    Posts
    20

    Default Install openSuse but keeping home partition

    I've used Linux a couple of years now, having Ubuntu installed on my main machine, together with Windows 7 as a dual boot.
    I also use openSuse on my secondary machine and I have come to appreciate openSuse so much now that I feel I'm ready to install it on my main computer.

    However, it's crucial that I keep W7 and my home folder of Linux (I suppose the home folder can be backed up and re-installed later), so is there any good guide on how to change distro but keep all the 'personal' stuff? In theory I know this is possible and I have had some limited experience with playing around with the various partitions, but as usual I'm sure there are 'dangerous' situations that could cause problems, and other things to look out for so not to endanger things you want to keep.

    Cheers Ollie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    UTC+10
    Posts
    9,686
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Install openSuse but keeping home partition

    If this is a typical Ubuntu install, then it will be all on one partition, /. So you will need to back up /home anyway. And given the speed at which software advances, you'd probably be better off redoing the GNOME preferences afresh rather than using old ones so you should selectively restore just the data files you want.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    GMT-7
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: Install openSuse but keeping home partition

    Quote Originally Posted by OllieGab View Post
    ...so is there any good guide on how to change distro but keep all the 'personal' stuff? In theory I know this is possible and I have had some limited experience with playing around with the various partitions
    Unfortunately, the best advice I can give you requires some work now, but MUCH less pain later, and you can switch distros with relative ease: create a /data partition where you store your "actual" home files: documents, work files, code, etc. Leave your actual home folder just for the stuff that Gnome/KDE, etc. uses to store configuration files. My home folder is therefore on the root partition: it stays with the distro. My disk layout is therefore (in no order of importance):

    /dev/sda1 - root partition 1 (for distro 1) - large enough to hold a distro install
    /dev/sda2 - root partition 2 (for distro 2) - identical in size to sda1
    /dev/sda3 - data partition - huge partition - stores all my files
    /dev/sda4 - swap - cause we need one

    I don't boot into weird OS's like Windows 7, but that can easily be /dev/sda5, of course.

    On any given Sunday, I can install a new distro (or a major upgrade to openSUSE, for example) on the root partition that I am not using, test it thoroughly, without impacting anything that's happening on the distro that I am using "for real".
    I can also copy in the /home/.kde folders from my "for real" partition to the "new" partition and slowly check to make sure my old configuration still works on the new version.

    Then, one day, I just stop using the "for real" partition and switch permanently to the "new" partition.

    Six months later, when another new version or distro is released, I simply repeat the process. This can be repeated until you get sick of the hardware and want to throw the entire box out.

    Footnote: when you install a distro in sda1 or sda2, don't mount the other partition - keep them hidden from each other by default. You can always mount the other root partition on demand as root to (carefully!!) copy files across.
    Desk: AMD Phenom II X4 945 8GB RAM Radeon HD 3300 Arch Linux Xfce 4.8
    Lap: Intel 2.13GHz Core i3 M330 8GB RAM nVidia GeForce 310M Arch Linux KDE 4.7.3

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •