What to back up before upgrading?

Johnny Rosenberg gurus.knugum at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 16:28:04 UTC 2012

2012/9/10 Ric Moore <wayward4now at gmail.com>:
> On 09/08/2012 10:26 AM, 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'.
> I'd be cautious with the old "dot-config" files in your home directory. I
> agree that some old custom bits in /etc should be backed up as well, but
> again, a lot has changed since 10.10, and I can never keep up. So, very
> cautious restores is the bigger deal, to my perspectives. You might do your
> restores to a directory like /opt and then diff the old config files with
> the newly installed ones, to make sure you won't blow something up using the
> old and busted.

Well, the stuff I saved from outside of my home directory is more like
”if there is something that I didn't think of that I need, I can
always try to get those files from my backup”. It's nothing
complicated. So far it's just some code snippets for the Gedit
snippets plugin that I will recover the next time I need it. I doubt
that will be a problem. They are stored in rather simple xml files.

> "New hotness ...old and busted."
> Oh yeah, your email and firefox bookmarks. If something goes ape, you can
> aways recover. Ric

I don't save email on my drives, I let them stay out there, so as long
as I can run a web browser my mail are save (unless Google don't mess
them up somehow…).
My web browser (Opera, not Firefox) synchronize bookmarks, speed dials
and a whole lot more with my other laptop (which also runs Opera, of
course), so I guess those are acceptably (if there is such a word…)
safe too.

Kind regards

Johnny Rosenberg

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