Feature suggestions: optionally placing home folder into separate partition during ubuntu install

Evan Huus eapache at gmail.com
Thu Oct 28 13:11:56 UTC 2010

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 7:54 AM, Davyd McColl <davydm at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Oct 2010 07:33:30 +0200, Aur?lien Naldi
> <aurelien.naldi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> If you want to keep installed packages, you can upgrade instead of
>> installing from scratch (if you don't skip a version or if you go from
>> LTS to LTS, otherwise it may be painful).
> I'd like to just raise a paw here: the only reason I got to see the new
> (and very slick!) installer is because my upgrade went pear-shaped. As
> far as I can figure, one of the packages that was being upgraded was
> asking a question about replacing a conf file (or something similar)
> so the upgrade dialog just hung until I killed it and all the apt/dpkg
> processes I could find and started again manually. I'm assuming this
> created some bad juju on my machine because after the upgrade, I would
> get hard hangs after a few idle hours on the machine. A clean install
> doesn't exhibit the problem.
> Unfortunately, this kind of thing has happened to me in the past (the
> upgrade dialog stalling and when I manage to force things to start
> again in a console, I see that the first package to be upgraded is
> asking a question about overwriting a modified conf file). This is
> just the first time (9.04->9.10->10.04->10.10) where the end result
> was unusable.
> If anyone can point me in the right direction, I'd like to log a
> bug report -- I honestly don't know what package to choose as the
> victim though.

I'm not 100% sure, but I would imagine you'd file this against
update-manager-core. When a package prompts for a conf-file, the gui
is supposed to bring up a nice dialog prompt as well, not hang. If it
is just hanging, the bug is in the gui, not apt or any actual
package-related programs. Of course the window placement for these
dialogs has been kind of weird in my experience - it's possible that
the dialog was raised, but minimized on some other workspace instead
of where you'd expect to see it. Still a bug imho, but I'm not sure
which package in that case. Metacity/Compiz?

> I would also add a "me too" to the OP. I keep my /home on another
> partition for all the same common reasons and it would be neat
> if that were offered as an easier option for newer users -- which would
> make re-installs when they break the system due to learning
> slightly less painful, for example.

Again, being able to reinstall to a single-partition Ubuntu and keep
your /home intact should cover the majority of use cases here. Using a
separate home to maintain settings between multiple OSes is very much
a power-user thing, and not recommended as it is very dangerous (eg if
the version of rhythmbox in Natty upgrades your rhythmdb.xml to a new
format, then booting into Maverick after will make rhythmbox

I will add my own +1 to the idea of the automatic partitioner offering
to reinstall/upgrade an existing Ubuntu install though. I don't know
how easy this would be (or if it already exists in the new Maverick
installer?) but it would make using the CD as a recovery disk much
simpler for the less technically inclined.


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