copying a home directory onto a removable drive and back

James Hogarth james.hogarth at
Wed Jul 28 15:17:54 UTC 2010

On 28 July 2010 15:49, Adam Funk <a24061 at> wrote:
> On 2010-07-28, Adam Funk wrote:
>> I want to copy my home directory onto a USB drive (formatted to ext3),
>> shuffle the partitions around on the computer, and copy my home
>> directory back (onto a new, blank partition).  I can think of four
>> ways to do it, although I'm not familiar with using the fourth:
>> cp -r
>> rsync
>> tar
>> cpio
>> Recommendations?
> I forgot to mention that one of my concerns is getting the file
> permissions and ownerships and any hard links right when I copy
> everything back.  (I doubt that I have any hard links, but you never
> know.)

How about using find to check for hard links first....

If you have an ext format USB key you can rsync to it fine (check for
the appropriate flags) and back again.... or tar is another good

Worst case scenario if ownership goes weird do a chown -R after you
have it back in place....

I assume you are intending to do this from a live cd or live usb session?

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