Moving from 10.04 to 12.04

Liam Proven lproven at
Sun Sep 9 13:13:33 UTC 2012

On 8 September 2012 20:05, Jim Byrnes <jf_byrnes at> wrote:
> Sooner or later I will need to move to 12.04.  Before I make the move I need
> to decide a couple of things.
> First should I upgrade or do a clean install.  When I went from Karmac to
> Lucid I did an upgrade.  It seemed to work well and I have had no problems,
> but I see a lot of people advocating a clean install.  Looking at my home
> directory I see it has become a jumbled mess so doing a clean install would
> give me a chance to restore some order.

The upgrade will probably work fine, but f you can spare the time &
effort to do a clean install, the result will be smaller, faster &
probably more stable.

Running 2 side-by-side is fine and safe and if you wish you can use a
single swap partition shared between multiple installations - this is
perfectly fine.

> Thinking about doing the clean install I came up with this idea.  I have a
> brand new spare HD.  I could put it in my case, unhook the old one and
> hookup the new one.  Install 12.04, get it running and install what I need.
> Then hookup the old HD and copy home and what ever else I find I need to my
> laptop.  Hookup the new HD and copy over what I need from my laptop.  This
> way I have an untouched copy of 10.04 to use until I get 12.04 setup and
> running the way I want it.  Does that make sense?

Yes, that's fine. Unlike Windows, which can get confused and use
resources from an old installation in a new one, *buntu is smart
enough not to muddle them up. You don't need to disconnect your old

> This time I want to try a separate /home partition. I'm trying to decide how
> much space to give / and how much to /home.  The new HD is a 1TB one, I will
> probably only format about 300GB. My current HD is 500GB and I formatted
> about 290GB and have 146GB free.

Out of curiosity, what's the rest of the space for? Windows?

Anyway, in terms of partitioning.

You only really need 3:
/ - also known as "the root filesystem"
/home - AKA "the home filesystem"
swap - which doesn't get mounted, as such, so does not have a path

All the software goes in the root FS. All your data goes in /home.

These days, data is typically much bigger than S/W. Photos take many
hundreds of meg, ditto music; videos take gigs.

You don't usually need a lot of room for S/W.

I would say that 8GB is a stingy amount of space but would probably
work fine. 16GB is generous. 32GB is madly generous. More, for most
people, would be wasteful.

Swap, as you say, is typically 2× RAM (this is an old & now
over-generous rule of thumb & is almost profligate these days, but
hey, with a thousand gig to play with, why not?)

All the rest can go to home.

I always do it in a very old-fashion, standard way, using binary round
numbers (i.e. powers of 2), like this:

[ small optional DOS-bootable primary for BIOS flashing etc. - say
32MB, yes, *mega*bytes]
[ bootable primary root - say 32GB]
[ extended partition for whole rest of disk; in there: [/home] [swap] ]

> I googled trying trying to find some guidance on how to allocate the
> available space between / and /home, but found widely varying suggestions.
> I decided to look at what I was using on my setup now
> $ sudo du -shc /   =>  total 105G
> $ du -shc /home    =>  total 64G

Just use GParted. Much easier.

I suggest you give descriptive labels to your existing partitions.
Gparted will do this & it is safe & non-destructive. Mine are called
things like:
"Spare primary"
"Spare Ubuntu root"
"Win2K 16GB"
"Win7 24GB"

> So this tells me that if I had a separate / and /home, / would be 41G. 41GB
> seems large compared to sizes I saw when I doing my search and many of those
> authors said they installed "tons of stuff".  So is the method I used to
> calculate my current / size valid?

41GB is a lot but not madly so on a 1TB drive. It's only 4% of the space.

> If it was valid I am thinking of a / of ~100GB and /home of ~200GB, does
> that seem OK?

100 gig is /way/ over the top. I see no reason for more than 32GB max.

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