Fresh install from alternate CD

D. Michael McIntyre michael.mcintyre at rosegardenmusic.com
Tue Jan 16 22:51:49 GMT 2007


On Tuesday 16 January 2007 9:53 am, Art Alexion wrote:
> As you can see, this is a mature setup honed over time since Warty.  I
> dread starting over again.

I know the feeling. I ran Debian Sid continuously for several years, and I 
hated to wipe it out and start over.  I eventually had one too many horrible 
dist-upgrades that I couldn't quite untangle, and too many things were 
broken.  Including HAL, actually.  So I hosed it in favor of Dapper.

> I know a fresh install from the Live CD will reformat my / partition, but
> is there a way to install the system from the alternate CD without messing
> up ~, /opt, and /usr/local which are on the same partition?

So you have /home/opt, /home/usr/local, and so on?  If so, then the regular 
non-alternative live install CD is smart enough to help you avoid hosing 
that, as long as you DO NOT accept the "automatic" partition option.  I 
forget exactly what you have to click in which order, but I installed Dapper 
without wiping out my original Debian /home 
(including /home/usr/local, /home/opt and kin).

I also took a copy of /etc and put on /home/etc to mine for lost config files, 
which was invaluable.

> I'd also like to save the installed debs as there are some installed
> locally with dpkg or checkinstall.

If you don't have the .deb files, you're pretty much screwed.  You can take a 
copy of whatever the installed components are, but hacking the dpkg database 
so it knows about the packages is fraught with peril.  I didn't pull it off.

I know a guy who had a commercial interest in being able to retroactively make 
a package out of something that was installed, and he was not able to come up 
with any existing utility for that purpose.

Nothing is impossible in Linuxdom, but it's probably just easier for you to 
rebuild that stuff from source.

-- 
D. Michael McIntyre 



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