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Old 08-07-2008, 06:25 PM
Chris Jones
 
Default newbie's questions on the purpose of separate /home, upgrade the distro, etc.

> i was under the impression that this setting will make upgrade less painful
> (read somewhere in the web but don't fully understood it). however, here
> come my questions.
>
> say i decide to do a clean install of newer distro in the future (ubuntu
> 8.10 for example) instead of upgrade it (that would take much longer and
> more problematic if i'm right), i guess i should take the same setting but
> not format the /home partition.

Indeed. By doing so you keep all your user data files and private user
configuration files.

>
> however, after the installation, do I have to installl all applications I
> have installed (like virtualbox, keepassx, realplayer... ) or since i didn't
> format the /home partiotion all these nice applications will automatically
> installed and configured for me? or they just stayed there and didn't change
> a bit?

You will need to reinstall the applications. The applications are stored
in the main partition (/) usually under /usr. Note that the new version
of the distribution will likely come with new versions of the various
applications, and thus even if you could keep the old ones, you most
likely would want to upgrade them anyway.

> if i have to reinstall applications, do i have to configure them (like i did
> before) as well? if not, the newer distro come with newer version of same
> application (this is often the case i'd say), will my old configuration
> works? if not, that would means i have to reinstall and reconfigure
> everything, then what the use of separate /home partition (this is a laptop
> and i am the only user)?

For each user, most linux applications store any private configurations
in 'hidden' files and directories in your home area. try the following
from a terminal

> cd ~/
> ls -a

The "-a" option tells ls to list files starting with ., which are
normally hidden from you.

So if you keep your /home partition, you will keep these configurations.

Now, whether or not these old settings will work with the new
applications, I cannot answer that. That completely depends on the
applications. In the most part I would say yes, they will, but this is
not guaranteed. It depends how seriously the developers for the
application take backwards compatibility.

Hope that helps.

Chris


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Old 08-07-2008, 11:59 PM
ssc1478
 
Default newbie's questions on the purpose of separate /home, upgrade the distro, etc.

On Thu, 07 Aug 2008 19:25:52 +0100
Chris Jones <jonesc@hep.phy.cam.ac.uk> wrote:


>
> > if i have to reinstall applications, do i have to configure them
> > (like i did before) as well? if not, the newer distro come with
> > newer version of same application (this is often the case i'd say),
> > will my old configuration works? if not, that would means i have to
> > reinstall and reconfigure everything, then what the use of
> > separate /home partition (this is a laptop and i am the only user)?
>
> For each user, most linux applications store any private
> configurations in 'hidden' files and directories in your home area.
> try the following from a terminal
>
> > cd ~/
> > ls -a
>
> The "-a" option tells ls to list files starting with ., which are
> normally hidden from you.
>
> So if you keep your /home partition, you will keep these
> configurations.
>
> Now, whether or not these old settings will work with the new
> applications, I cannot answer that. That completely depends on the
> applications. In the most part I would say yes, they will, but this is
> not guaranteed. It depends how seriously the developers for the
> application take backwards compatibility.

The only application (that I use) that requires me to redo the conf file
is samba because smb.conf exists in /etc/samba

The rest just work.

Phil

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