Basil's question (move home to separate partition and restore working system)

Basil Fernie basil at
Sat Sep 13 10:00:18 UTC 2014

Hi Israel,
No problem with the new thread, Just wasn't expecting to see my name up in  
lights so soon in life...

Your suggestions were probably good, but I had this problem with 20GB  
spare to hold 3 versions of a 30GB folder... I followed up the links which  
were again addressing a slightly different and "easier" problem, namely  
how to shift your /home partition at or after installation. My problem is  
however how to "capture" an existing /home on that is already on a  
different partition. But by pursuing the downlinks I found some  
interesting stuff which after testing out I may be able to summarise for  
some other coutios user. It did not get as far as telling me how I could  
do what I wanted to do safely.

So I did some selective trimming and clipping and backed up /home to an  
already full external drive and copied a carefully selected portion to the  
LXLE partition so I could use Opera without extreme contortions, hence I  
am able to reply to your email.

Then I tried to install Lubuntu 14.04.1 "over" the failed installation,  
with preservation of /home. The installation failed in the last 5% of  
"Restoring previously removed packages", i.e. right on the last lap of the  
installation marathon. There was a warning that the desktop manager was  
not working. The installation booted, to a black screen with a conky. I  
could get a terminal window by right-clicking on the desktop, and  
presumably could have replaced the faulty or missing desktop manager with  
a command or two if I had a bit more insight. I repeated the attempted  
installation with Lubuntu 12.04.3 and with LXLE14.04, with exactly the  
same results. So I am concluding that in that /home that my greedy eyes  
are fixed on, is a poisoned desktop manager which I don't want to be  
accessed by my working LXLE installation on the small partition.

So my problem has changed; all the installation DVDs have good desktop  
managers as evidenced by fault-free live runs, but already on the hard  
drive partition in probably the /home is a vicious evil desktop manager.  
How can I destroy this dragon that guards Sinbad's cave full of software  
jewels and my precious archival data?

Best regards,


On Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:06:17 +0200, Israel <israeldahl at> wrote:

> Hi Basil,
> I wanted to move this to a new thread, so it would be easier to spot in
> people's inbox :)
> OS/2 eh?  I remember using that for a while.  Unfortunately that was
> during the time of MS' big move to control the market.  And well, they
> did.  They are still trying to, however the advent of the smartphone has
> seriously jeopardized their chances.... much like Netscape Navigator did
> with IE taking over the internet (and Firefox does still against MS and
> Google taking over the free web)
> Regarding moving your home to a separate partition in a 'working'  
> install:
> The potential for data  loss is very real in this case.  No matter what
> you decide to do, you should BACKUP your home partition to whatever
> media you have (USB/SD/external HD, etc...)
> This is something we should all be doing fairly periodically either way.
> So, here is some reading material for you.
> This seems fairly straight forward.
> But, if it were me, I would simply backup my /home and reinstall.
> See this for some info:
> and here is one with screenshots (albeit older, but still relevant)
> The main consideration is that you will have to use the "Do something
> else" option if you choose to reinstall from a disk ever again, and set
> it up the same.
> something like:
> 17Gig partition mounted at /
> 32 Gig mounted at /home
> 1 Gig swap partition
> You can of course try the first method, and if it does not succeed you
> have a backup of your home anyway, and can simply reinstall.
> But don't share your home partition with other distros... there are lots
> of issues that could creep up that way, unfortunately, especially using
> your ~/.config directory
> Your ~/.config directory is the one that holds the configuration files,
> and may be the culprit of your current mess, though it might simply be a
> mess of incomplete things installed.
> hope this info helps your restoration process

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