Restoring Home directory after booting live CD

Andy Choens gunksta at
Thu Jan 12 19:20:45 UTC 2006

On 1/10/06, Chanchao <custom at> wrote:
> Hi,
> On my office computer I would like to run Ubuntu, but currently I
> can't install it there for various reasons.
> I used the Live CD for a while, and can configure some settings pretty
> quickly now, and if I basically never turn the thing off then I keep my
> settings..  yet... sometimes I just have to restart, or boot up
> windows for some reason, then I have to start from scratch again. :(
> So I backed up my home folder to a USB pendrive, using tar.  (% tar -cvf
> /media/pendrive/ubuntu.tar ubuntu )  To be sure I did this while out
> of all applications, I even quit gdm and did it from the command
> prompt. This way I hoped all my settings, including gnome settings,
> firefox stuff, openoffice templates, etc, etc would be properly backed
> up.
> HOWEVER, when I restart, boot from CD and then put the stuff back (tar
> -xvf /media/pendrive/ubuntu.tar)  then gnome refuses to start, I get a
> failsafe xterm instead.  When I start all the way into gnome first and
> then restore the home folder then nothing works anymore; applications
> simply fail to start up.
> I checked permissions and it seems to be correct, the user and group
> are 'ubuntu'.  Also I'm doing both the backing up and restoring while
> logged in as 'ubuntu', not sudo or root or anything.
> What am I doing wrong?  It would be so nice to have my own Ubuntu
> installation with my own settigns that I can just run on any computer.
> (Already tried DSL and Puppy but found them too limited: I like the
> functionality Ubuntu provides and need OpenOffice as well as the
> kitchen sink. :)
> Toughts, suggestions?
> Cheers,
> Chanchao
> --
> ubuntu-users mailing list
> ubuntu-users at

This might get me flamed here, but have you looked at Knoppix.  It has
unionfs very integrated into it's operation, and it's based on Debian like
Ubuntu is.  I know, it's KDE based instead of GNOME, but it might work for
you better because it is really meant to be a portable desktop.  Ubuntu
tends to assume people will use the live CD as a trial or test run and then
install it to their hard-drive.

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