Reinstall and keep /home and users

Hi I have tried searching for this but most posts actually cover different things.

After working with a more or less stable system I decided to install 11.3 on my system. Atm I am working with a updated 10.3 (prop state is 11.2 now after kernel update) Installed is Gnome, KDE3 and KDE4 - using KDE3
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Now the question** can I reinstall Opensuse 11.3 to my root partition and keep /home successfully? It is on a separate partition (Doing backup atm also).
I understand that I will have to set it as mountpoint during installation. When asked to create user I stopped as I am scared if I add a user with the same name as on my old install it will overwrite the current folder in mounted /home… I seriously like my old username and want to keep it - can i safely add the user during install? will my stuff be still there?

I hope the UID will remain the same then aswell as I am not sure about that. I know I will have to add KDE3 after installation but I am worried about the overwriting. Hope someone has experience :wink:

During the initial install you will have the option to import the fstab of the current system (in “Expert-Options” or something like this). This will save you from setting any mountpoints yourself.

It will not cause problems when using the old username for an unformatted /home, I have done so many times.

i want to reformat / (root) though to ext4 - is there an easy way to do so using the fstab?

how will grub behave after this? (as changed kernel)

and using the same username will keep the data? is that what u are saying?

Thanks for the help!!!

If you import the mount points, and choose to ‘Reformat System Partitions’, the installer will select ext4 as the filesystem. Your /home will stay like it is, ext3 probably, user folders will be adjusted concerning the UUID etc., my /home is in use since 1999…

Mind, you cannot upgrade, you have to do a clean install !!! This means that you also need to backup mysql databases etc.

You cannot change a file system through fstab…

i want to reformat / (root) though to ext4 - is there an easy way to do so using the fstab?

Yes, after the fstab-import you will still be able to edit the options, eg. setting / from ext3 to ext4 (which is done by default anyway, I think [not sure though]). You should carefully check the setted options for each partition, especially the option for /home to stay unformatted.

how will grub behave after this? (as changed kernel)

By default /boot/grub/menu.lst will contain the correct path to the current kernel. There’s no need to edit it, it will be done automatically.

and using the same username will keep the data? is that what u are saying?

Yes, /home will stay as it is.

Edit:

Is that referring to ext3 → ext4? Actually you can (but not during the initial install), see →here. Such an operation requires proper backup, but it is possible.

cheers thats what i needed to know - yeah fstab just being the file which holds the info right?

UUID will be adjusted

  • good to know thanks!!

dont want to do an upgrade :wink: - mysql tables… - I backed up my lampp installation - do i need the mysql tables for anything else? What exactly would i need to backup as well?

Thanks a lot!!