[ubuntu-uk] backup home folder
Alan Lord (News)
alanslists at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 09:57:38 BST 2010
On 16/09/10 08:58, Norman Silverstone wrote:
> I frequently read that, before carrying out various operations, one
> should first backup the home folder. Does this mean simply taking a CD
> and copying the home folder to it?
This is absolutely possible although probably not totally necessary.
> Assuming that this is correct does it mean that if I mess things up or
> even have to re-install Ubuntu from scratch, copying this home folder
> back into the new installation will restore such things as my email
> address book and stored emails, for example?
I keep /home on a separate partition as do many others. Although I am
led to believe that a new Ubuntu install can be told to leave your home
directory alone and all will be well.
Backing up /home/username will store all your settings and data - that
which isn't stored elsewhere of course ;-)
One gotcha that you should be aware of when using a fresh operating
system install is that usernames and groups in linux are actually really
numbers (UID and GID) and the name is mapped to the UID in /etc/passwd.
If you are the first user (the admin user) on Ubuntu your UID should be
1000 - try typing
in a terminal window.
When you install a new system the user you create during that install is
assigned the UID and GID 1000. Clearly, if you back up your
home/username directory and you are not the first user (perhaps your UID
is 1002 for example) then you will need to be aware of this and change
the UID/GID of your home directory's data.
There are quite a few files in /home that do not really need backing up
and can take up quite a bit of space - I'm instantly thinking of
.thumbnails/ & .local/share/Trash
FWIW, I run a small script that backs up several parts of all our
computers every night. I back up:
/home /etc and /var and exclude directories such as above and any
temporary files, e.g files ending with ~
Hope this helps.
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