What to back up before upgrading?

Chris Green cl at isbd.net
Tue Sep 11 08:41:13 UTC 2012

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 03:34:06AM -0400, Ric Moore wrote:
> 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

Yes, yes, you don't blindly copy the configuration files over the new
12.04 ones, but you can go and look at the old files and see what
customisation you have added over the years.  If you don't have copies
of the old files you have to "re-invent the wheel".

Chris Green

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