Install OpenSUSE over another Linux

Hello, on my 2nd PC I have Mint installed. So, I think, it’s time to change it to openSUSE. I have only 1 working partition on it (BTRFS), swap and UEFI part. Important folders are only /home and **/etc. **So, I’d like to safely update my Mint to openSUSE. Can I do it without formatting?

UUID=424e93b6-3014-4424-a43c-baadfa70ae21 /               btrfs   defaults,subvol=@ 0       1# /boot/efi was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=FC8A-FE99  /boot/efi       vfat    umask=0077      0       1
# /home was on /dev/sda2 during installation
UUID=424e93b6-3014-4424-a43c-baadfa70ae21 /home           btrfs   defaults,subvol=@home 0       2
# /home/psijic was on /dev/sda4 during installation
UUID=73361f64-365d-4a43-9f7a-31e59a823005 /home/psijic    btrfs   defaults        0       2
# swap was on /dev/sda3 during installation
UUID=8cafcfcc-7eac-448f-baac-68cffe57ccae none            swap    sw              0       0

Next part is syncing my /home folders with changes of DE on both PCs (I’d like to set my KDE’s Plasma, Konsole settings same on both PCs).

About the first: I wouldn’t try that without formatting.

On the second: have a look at NFS, export the home dir from one (nfs server), mount it on the other PC(nfs client).

So, I need something like a cloud for that?

After thinking about what you want to do for a bit…
I’d recommend…

Of course, make a copy of anything you deem valuable. Although the steps I describe should work, it’d be very easy to make a mistake which would lose everything.

  1. Use Gparted Live to shrink your partition which appears to have everything in it except swap, freeing up at least enough empty space to create a new partition which can hold your /home contents.

  2. Move your shrunken partition as far forward as you can, creating your free space at the <end> of your disk.

  3. Create a new partition in the free space and format it with XFS (or Ext4).

  4. Reboot into your Mint and mount the partition you created using Gparted Live.

  5. Copy the contents of your /home to your new partition. I doubt there is anything in /etc you’d want to save, most of its contents will be re-created by openSUSE.

  6. Reboot into Gparted Live.

  7. While in Gparted Live, remove/delete the swap and original main partition which you had shrunken before.

  8. Re-size your remaining partition containing your /home contents to whatever size you want, again making sure it’s aligned at the <end of the disk.

  9. When completed, you should have only one partition (the new one you had created now with the /home contents) at the end of the disk and everything else free, unformatted and unpartitioned space.

  10. Exit Gparted Live.

  11. Insert your openSUSE install media and run it.
    The Installer should find your free space and offer to install into that free space, accept.

  12. When you arrive at the step that suggests your disk layout, choose to EDIT the layout.
    In the Editing, you should select the /home directory and point it to the existing partition, this is how the new openSUSE will re-use your /home data. If you don’t do this, then the <default layout> will not point to your partition for /home, it will instead create a new /home partition in the free space. Be sure you understand what I’m describing here, it’s the critical but easy change you have to make… no typing, just selecting.

  13. Continue with the installation, I’d highly recommend you install the same Desktop you were using in Mint to <maybe> import your previous Desktop configuration and preferences (YMMV).

If everything works as expected, that’s all there is to it!


Nah, you run NFS server on one machine, exporting /home. And NFS client on the other, mounting the export on it’s own /home. Reliable, fast.
Issue you have is your btrfs setup. What you could try in the installer at the partitioning phase is to go Exper Configuration - Import mountpoints, and see if the result is OK, compare the result to what you have on mint now.

Wow, so complex :). I think I can use an extra USB flashdrive for copying /home or a cloud storage and then just copy back it after install a new system. Also I didn’t understand why to use new partition with XFS (or Ext4) if I (and openSUSE by default) want BTRFS.
But maybe it’s better to use 2 partitions - 1 for the whole system that can be easily formatted and second for the important data - /home, /opt, etc

But my PC’s aren’t launched at same time, it’s my home and office PCs. Isn’t it will be a problem?

Best not use BTRFS for home default is XFS but EXT4 is ok also.

It will just complicate your life. Use it on root is OK if you give it at least 40 gig

Best to have a separate home since it makes upgrades and OS changes much much easier

Sorry, don’t know the details about BTRFS

Well if you plan to use you should read up.

In openSUSE it is paired with snapper which allows snapshots that you can roll back to. This feature has costs in space usage and maintenance