What to back up before upgrading?

Phil Dobbin bukowskiscat at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 23:32:19 UTC 2012

Chris Green wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 08, 2012 at 04:05:41PM +0200, Johnny Rosenberg wrote:
>> I am finally going to replace my very old Ubuntu 10.10 with the
>> somewhat newer Ubuntu 12.04 on my main laptop. I have /home on a
>> separate partition and I have an external backup of all my ”important”
>> stuff (most of the things kept in $HOME). Whan tryng toplan the whoel
>> thing I realised that there are some things I want to keep that's not
>> in $HOME, for example my Gedit snippets of the code snippets plugin,
>> and they seem to be located at /usr/share/gedit-2/plugins, so
>> obviously I need to backup that directory too (maybe the whole
>> /usr/share/ directory).
>> What more would I probably want to backup before I start installing
>> the new system?
> I find it useful to make a copy of /etc as there are bits of
> customisation there, it's rarely very large so space isn't an issue,
> just copy the whole lot.
> If you have any databases (mysql etc.) they're in /var which can be a
> bit of a pain to backup, but those databases aren't anywhere else.
> Finally if you have any custom software additions in /usr/local you need
> to back them up.
>> I will install the Ubuntu 12.04 from scratch, but I'm going to keep my
>> /home partition, if nobody tells me that it would be a very bad idea.
>> If so, I will install the whole thing from scratch and then copy what
>> I need from my external backup later.
> That's the way I do it when I want a good 'clean out'.

You may also like to consider doing a full backup with something like
mondoarchive so if the worst comes to the worst, you can do a bare metal
restore & ponder over your options.



currently (ab)using
CentOS 6.3, Debian Squeeze, Fedora Beefy, OS X Snow Leopard, Ubuntu Precise

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