Keep user data after clean upgrade

Hi, I am planning on upgrading from 10.3 to 11.0, but after a reformat of my harddrive from reaserfs to ext3 (or ext4).

In previous upgrades I didn’t do the reformat and therefore could keep my Home partition intact and was prompted if I wanted to keep the users during the upgrade.

However, with a complete format of the harddrive this will not be possible.

What is the best (read easiest) option for keeping the user data? I already have the whole Home folder backed up on another drive.

And, do I need to backup any other folders?

Thanks in advance.

You have to backup and restore if you change the filesystem. It might be easier to do this after 11.0 has been installed, since it can be done independent of the OS install.

I find it useful to backup /etc so as to be able to see what the former config was like. Also don’t forget cron jobs in /var/spool/cron and any MySQL databases in /var/lib/mysql.

Adding to ken_yap’s suggestion I will throw in a few other directories you migh want to save (depends on what you keep where):
/boot (your old menu.lst might be interesting)
/var (I once mised something from there dearly, but forgot what)
/root (I keep a few scripts for root in /root/bin/)
/srv (if you serve a website or so from there)

Thanks for the help.

In the matter of the users, when installing 11.0, I presume there is a stage when it will ask if I want to make new users, do I make then then, or do I first do the full install, copy the backed up home folders into the new version and then make the users?

I am afraid that if I make the users in 11.0 first and then copy the backed up user folders into the home folder that I will overwrite some important system file of 11.0.

Hm, I do not know how other people here think about it.

There are not realy ‘system files’ in home directories. I think I would install the users first and then copy their old home directories back. This will restore all sorts of config data (for e.g. KDE) and of course their own documents, etc.
I once did it this way going from 10.0 to 10.3. No problems.

The other way around might work also because when the config files are already there they will not be generated anew and the result might be (almost) the same.

Many here just leave their /home as it is, only erasing their / and reinstalling there. I suppose they then mount /home and then generate the users. Because the other way around will first puut files in the umounted /home, which will then be mounted over (and not seen anymore).
This is the same as the second method above and seems to work quite well.

Does this help :confused: . I hope.

Thanks for the help folks. I’ll give it a shot in the next day or 2.

Now just to decide on KDE (x2) or gnome. :confused: :slight_smile:

That not a big deal. You can easily load all three of them (either at install or later) because they are mentioned in the groupings YaST has.

At every GUI login you can decide wich one to use by the menu button at the lower left corner of the login screen.

Excellent!!! :slight_smile:

And does that mean I will be able to work with all my usual apps, regardless of whether I am in KDE or Gnome?

I don’t like to format partitions from reiserfs to ext3, because some settings seed also to be modified. IMHO I find the following situation the best for keeping user data after clean install:

a. reformatting:
If you want/need to convert partitions from reiserfs to ext3, backup your precious data to an USB stick or an external harddrive or DVD rom. Now install your new Linux and create the right partitions using the right size and format. After this copy the data back to your home directory from your external backup copy.

b. not reformatting:
Just don’t format the partition in question. Just give the right mountpoint to it and you are up and running after the install is completed.

Of course, an application is just a program. However sometimes programs look a bit strange when they are designed for one Desktop Environment and run on another. But a thing like Firefox has no problems at all.