Lost my GUI in 14.10

Israel israeldahl at gmail.com
Tue Sep 9 20:18:44 UTC 2014

Hi Basil,
The idea behind installing /home to a separate partition excludes your
personal documents (Music, photos, Documents, Videos, etc...)  from the
base OS.
All aps are stored in a few general places.... the most pertinent are:
as well as the 'system administrator' apps being in:
The /usr/share/applications folder gives the Desktop Environment (i.e.
the information about the app, like Name (in various languages) Icon,
Category and path to the executable... i.e. /usr/bin/some-program
Sharing this folder between other distros is *HIGHLY discouraged* by
most people.  You can however have a partition that you keep separate to
share between distros, and access it at will.

My point I was making was about things in ~/.config/  and ~/.cache/
There are some configuration files in those folders that occasionally
get messed up in an upgrade.  You can move the entire folder to a backup
(mv ~/.config ~/backup_config && mv ~/.cache ~/backup_cache)
And see if this fixes your issues.  You will lose all of your data
(firefox bookmarks, program settings) but you can (of course) copy those
back from your backup.

If it doesn't fix your issues, you may need to simply backup your /home
directory and reinstall.
If you are very adept and understand dependencies you can use apt's
cache as a backup for your current programs, though that is often asking
for trouble, so if you are slightly unsure the answer is 'Do not try
this!' :)

to set up a fresh install with a separate /home you must do this through
the 'Something Else' option where you choose what to do when installing
(other options are Replace Lubuntu 14.04, Install alongside, etc...)

The way to partition your disk (assuming you have a regular x86 machine
(32/64 bit))
is very simple.

1. Make a partition that is about 20Gigs and set it to mount at /

2. If you have 2 Gig of Ram make a swap partition at the end of the disk
that is 2 Gig
basically make a swap that is the same size as your Ram... swap is not
as needed these days, but is very useful in certain circumstances, there
are lots of different opinions about this, but that is a basic starting

3. Use the rest of the disk mounted at /home

You should most likely use ext4 format for your filesystems, though some
people like some of the lesser used ones (brtfs for example) the default
install uses ext4, so you probably should too unless you understand what
the other types are and why you want to use them.

I hope that explained what I meant much better

On 09/09/2014 11:36 AM, Basil Fernie wrote:
> Hi Israel,
> Thanks for the as always considerate response.
> 1. I tried the sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
> although I wonder if this has any more effect than issuing the two
> commands separately but consecutively. Anyway it downloaded and
> installed another 1-2MB of files which might just have been very
> recently released to the repositories? Whatever, the whole thing still
> failed on the sane-utils as before.
> There's enough Trusty Tahr floating around to thwart the other sudo
> which reports there isn't a new release to upgrade to.
> Regarding the /home trick, I'm confused. First, does  /home contain
> all my chosen and explicitly installed apps as well as data in eg
> Documents and Downloads folders? What about system-tied apps, e.g.
> utilities, which might be replaced in the new release by proxies not
> to my liking? How can I retain those without fouling up the new
> installation? I seem to recall that updated versions of LibreOffice
> get installed in /opt...
> Second, how do I redirect OS searches for /home away from the default
> disk to the substitute, POST-installaion of the new release? (I'm
> presuming that if the desirable /home is on sda6 and I am
> clean-installing to sda7, involving formatting of sda7, and I rediract
> /home to sda6 DURING the installation, the installer is going to wipe
> the /home on sda6, if not the whole of sda6, as well as sda7
> Any authoritative responses will be very welcome! I like the /home
> idea as it suggests the potential of having a variety of Debian-based
> distros accessing a common data- and- application base... but, "better
> safe than sorry"
> Basil


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