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

Basil Fernie basil at
Tue Sep 16 18:18:34 UTC 2014

Hi Israel,
My apologies for mislaying your original e-mail somewhere in the chaos of
parallel-but-not-equal mailer installations and a non-functional printer
installation on the failed Lu14.04 attempt.

Andre's implied rebuke is taken as deserved. I hope he will remember that  
when his memory is as old as mine...

I did backup the .config and the .cache as recommended, then did the stop
and start of lightdm. Pleasingly enough, I was rewarded with a desktop
full of familiar icons. However, in due course after downloading and
installing hundreds of megabytes of updates, I wanted to reboot but there
was no apparent response. I decided then to go through the pain of making
space on my potential backup media to take the entire /home.

However I couldn't boot again, not even from the DVD, to do the transfer.
Finally Precise Puppy came to my rescue and I spent most of the weekend's
windows of opportunity juggling hundreds of gigs of files. Scrubbed the
target partition, reformatted it and did a clean install of Lu14.04.1

Which then worked rather nicely, apart from (so far):

1. Bad printer installation. The process recognised my HP DJ F4180 as  
indeed an HP DJ, but had no F-series printers on its database and offered  
an option which I took, with everything following smoothly until "Print a  
test page?" which didn't even create an entry in the print queue. In fact  
no applications see the printer, which might as well be disconnected.  
Oddly enough, the parallel LXLE14.04, based on Lubuntu14.04.1 and using  
exactly the same hardware, recognised the printer as an F4100-series,  
installed it correctly and everything on that side works as desired. Which  
is what it did with Lu12.04, come to think of it. If I manage to identify  
the responsible (irresponsible?) file(s) in the Lubuntu installation,  
perhaps I'll replace them, because I do actually like to use Lubuntu  
although it may not always seem like it. I accept I can probably find my  
way to a fix, it just annoys me on the basis of "if it works, don't tamper  
with it).

2. No trace of a volume control. Even though it is the first point update  
of Lubuntu14.04 and the latest updates were downloaded by update manager  
this morning. What use is a sound system without a volume control?

Well, now that I have the backups safely tucked away, I'm going to do a  
clean install LXLE14.04 over the major partition where I'v been trying to  
install Lubuntu, to see if i can find true happiness with it as my daily  
working installation. And then I'm going to install Lubu14.04.1 to the  
minor partition, my "run-flat" partition, to see if I can nail these  
troublesome issues. As I said, I LIKE to use Lubuntu.

Frankly, I'm depressed. If simple problems like these have evaded the  
14.04 testers for so long, how ready is 14.10 going to be? Really, I would  
volunteer to join the team of testers, but I'm put off by the reports that  
it will be incompatible with  synaptiks, which is the only reason I can  
type a paragraph of text on this laptop without tearing my hair out. Are  
the re[prts true? Is an alternative included in the distro?

Should I turn to plain Debian and try carving it up a bit? Suggestions  

Best regards,


On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 14:43:06 +0200, Israel <israeldahl at> wrote:

> Hi Basil!
> I highly sugegst youtry my initial suggestion
> open a tty  (Ctrl+Alt+F1)
> login, then:
> sudo mv ~/.config ~/config_backup
> sudo mv ~/.cache ~/cache_backup
> then
> sudo restart lightdm
> or alternatively
> sudo stop lightdm
> sudo start lightdm
> Then it should work.... however some of your application specific
> settings will be gone.
> you can experiment moving each folder back from config_backup to .config
> Hope this does it for you.
> Also you may need to move some other hidden files if you have edited
> them by hand
> in your home directory
> On 09/13/2014 05:00 AM, Basil Fernie wrote:
>> 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,
>> Basil
>> 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

Using Opera's mail client:

More information about the Lubuntu-users mailing list