switching distros

Shannon McMackin smcmackin at gmail.com
Thu May 1 02:24:20 UTC 2008

Chris G wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 03:18:21PM -0700, Pastor JW wrote:
>> Back abit someone mentioned they had installed Ubuntu and there was something 
>> to the effect of not seeing the users from a different (Mandriva I think) 
>> distro.  I can't find the message although I KNOW I saved it!  Evidently they 
>> had just formatted the system partition and installed Ubuntu and left the 
>> user partition alone.
> I *hope* you/they mean the /home partition and not the /usr partition,
> it's the /home partition that has users' home directories (and
> configuration) on it.
>>                      Mention was made that the User ID number was different 
>> (500 instead of 1000 or something like that).  Can this be done and perhaps 
>> edit the User ID to fit the new system?  It would seem a much easier way to 
>> go when upgrading to Ubuntu than having to start all over and re-setup your 
>> environment from scratch!  I suppose it isn't possible since I'd actually 
>> like to do it and really have not the time in my day to re-setup my working 
>> environment!
> It's perfectly possible, all you need to do is edit the /etc/passwd
> file so that the user ID and group ID match those you see on the files
> in the users' home directories in /home.  At least that's how I'd do
> it (being a command line junkie).
> Actually now I think about it you can probably do it when you add the
> users to your new installation, depending on the tool/utility you use
> to add them you may be able to set the user ID and group ID when you
> create them.
> Ask for more help if you don't understand what I'm on about, it's
> always difficult to gauge how much someone knows.
>>               One of my machines wouldn't upgrade to Mandriva 2008 so is 
>> still a 2007 machine.  I thought I ought to just take it to Ubuntu like my 
>> laptop is and maybe make it my office computer.
I do this a lot, but don't care much for settings and such as much as I 
care about data.

I've hopped around from Ubuntu to FC to RH and back and just save the 
user directory under a different name like /home/(name)-old.  Then when 
I have the new install up and running, I can see if my user environment 
is the same in the new OS and just copy over everything and log out and 
log back in.

 From distro to distro, you may have subtle differences that spew errors 
when a simple file is not as it should be.  I suppose it depends on the 
distros.  Not so bad from Debian to Ubuntu or FC to RH, but maybe more 
an issue from OpenSUSE to Ubuntu.

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