Non destructive install is important.

Aurelien Naldi aurelien.naldi at
Mon Sep 11 21:02:34 BST 2006

Le lundi 11 septembre 2006 à 20:44 +0100, Toby Smithe a écrit :
> Hash: SHA1
> Aurélien Naldi wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > Just my thoughts on this problem: I also don't think that installing
> > without reformating is a good idea because of remaining files from the
> > previous install (init scripts, cron jobs... would for example be
> > launched). This would also decrease the security of the "new" install
> > (old binaries not known by the package manager and thus not fixed by
> > security updates).
> > 
> > The "right" approach is to have a separate partition for /home and
> > store here everything you want to keep, then you can reformat your :
> > partition and still keep relevant data. I think that since breezy the
> > automatic partition at install time uses LVM to offer a separate /home
> > (I have not checked this, using a RAID system).
> > If /home is not a separate partition, an alternative might be to
> > reinstall without reformatting but delete all files outside of the
> > /home directory, this would be helpfull in some edge cases but would
> > avoid keeping dangerous files everywhere and getting something worse
> > than a dist-upgraded system.
> > 
> > On a side note, the mac OSX installer has a nice feature to help users
> > upgrade from an older computer: plug the old computer in the new one
> > during install, it will appear as an external harddrive, the installer
> > will then copy all user's data and settings from the old install to
> > the new one. This fills another  (related) use case. Unfortunatly it
> > can not be done as easily with PC.
> > 
> Why would the architecture of the platform make a difference? It's
> purely not as easy as the feature hasn't been implemented.

A linux distribution could support this feature on apple computer as the
hardware is intended to (the whole computer can act as an external hard
drive). It could also be done with x86 if the hardware supported this
but this is a problem for hardware-makers first :).



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