12.04 upgrade problem

Avi Greenbury lists at avi.co
Sun Nov 4 21:33:00 UTC 2012

Jim Smith wrote:
> I upgraded to 12.04 from 11.10 and rendered my system unbootable. I
> can boot a 12.04 CD and mount my Linux Partition. Having done that I
> would like to transfer my important files to an external hard drive
> so that I can re-install from CD. I can mount the partition and go
> to the "home" directory, but I'm not allowed to enter my personal
> directory. Any way I can force this?

This message has appeared as a branch to another thread, which you can
generally get away with in a practical sense[0]. This is because
message threading doesn't work in the way it apparently 'should' - by
the content of the subject line [0] - but uses a couple of SMTP
headers to dictate this. The common one is 'In-Reply-To' which
contains the ID of the message you were viewing when you clicked
'reply', and so in my mail reader (and that of most of the list) this
shows as being a reply to that one, even with a different subject
The big downside of this is that fewer people will read it; several will
have already decided that the 'parent' thread is not one that
interests them and so have set their reader to not inform them of new
mails to it (or maybe just manually mark the whole thing as read).
Another is that you may attract remarks about 'nettiquette' and
suchlike, but that's relatively easy to ignore :)

Anyway! On to your actual question!

You'll find that you can enter your home directory either from
a user with the privilege to do so (which, generally is root or any
other user using sudo) or one with the same user ID (UID) as your old
user. I can give you more direct instructions on what to do here if
you let me know what it is you're trying to do next.

Are you interested in restoring the 11.10/12.04 install? If so, could
you answer a few questions:

* What method did you use to upgrade? Probably do-release-upgrade,
  update manager or synaptic, but there's a couple of other ways.
* How far did it get? Did it look like it all worked, but then just
  not work the next time you tried to boot?
* What does it do when it fails to boot? How far does it get, do you
  get any messages (errors or otherwise)?

If not, it may be easiest to simply run the installer on that CD and
tell it to use your current /home as the 'new' /home but not format
it. This will preserve the content of your home directory (so all your
files and custom configuration for applications) but not any system
configuration, and you'll only have the default set of applications

[0] In that people will still probably reply usefully, though you may
get *some* vitriol. It's normally taken to be a fairly rude thing to
do, though it's incredibly easy to do without realising. 

[1] For some very boring reasons, and to allow for one thread to
change topic (and hence subject line).

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list