[ubuntu-uk] Upgrade vs Reinstall

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Tue May 12 18:56:31 BST 2009

2009/5/12 Liam Proven <lproven at gmail.com>:
> The key thing is to keep your /home directory tree on a separate
> partition. That makes re-installing much less painful and fiddly.

Not really. You can reinstall over the top these days and it will wipe
everything except /home - even if it's all on one partition. This
gives you the benefit that having /home in a separate partition has,
but with the added benefit of not having to maintain extra partitions,
and the possibility of having space in the "wrong" part.

Not for everyone, some people like separate partitions for /home, just
pointing out you don't have to, to get that benefit.

> This is a step towards Mac OS X's "Archive & Install" option, which
> leaves all your user settings (in /users rather than /home) and
> applications (in /Programs) intact but archives all the system boot,
> Unix binaries and settings directories into "Previous Systems" for you
> to root through and delete later.
> This would be a good feature for Ubuntu to copy sometime, I reckon.

There is talk (and prototypes) of an inplace upgrade which is
reversible. You do the upgrade in a "test" mode which mounts the
filesystem in such a way that changes are written temporarily, in such
a way that you can undo it, taking you right back to your state before
the upgrade. It's quite a neat way to do upgrades, but rough round the
egdes at the moment.


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