Moving /home to new computer?

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Moving /home to new computer?

Postby Kellemora » 17 Mar 2013, 10:51

Hi Yogi

I know you are a Windows buff, but perhaps you know the answer to this.

I decided to wipe most of the hard drive on a twin computer to this one.
Had a partition problem, caused by an Ubuntu upgrade.
This prevented GParted from working.
Although I did fix the problem using Boot Repair in Advanced Mode.
There were over 30 kernel updates I could fall back onto.
Plus it was multi boot; Windows 3 versions, Linux 3 versions.
I kept the Windows partition and unallocated everything else.
Then made a 100 gig partition for Debian6
Made an Extended partition and shoved Swap to the far right.

I've installed 64 bit Debian 6 from the same install disk as I used on this computer.
In other words, it is a CLEAN new install.

Can I take /home from this computer and move it to that computer?
I do have a backup of the /home /etc and /var from the other computer.
But I have this one now set up exactly the way I want it.

I DO NOT have /home in a separate directory.
I did that for awhile, because it was highly recommended.
But when using several different OS's, it caused me problems.
So since then, I've always used /home in the OS's own root directory.

I'm pretty sure I have to move /home as Root
However, other than the settings, I keep NO DATA on the computers themselves.

I've hunted on line and found 100's of similar questions, twice as many answers, all different, and giving different methods and warnings.

I guess I could just try it and see what happens, since I can save the current /home and put it back again if it don't work. Maybe set a restore point might make that easier too.

Thanks
TTUL
Gary
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Re: Moving /home to new computer?

Postby Yogi » 17 Mar 2013, 11:32

Good question, but I'll have to give you an educated guess instead of advice based on experience. :mrgreen:

First and foremost is to be certain that you have a way to get back to your system as it is today, prior to any directory moves. A simple backup of /home isn't enough. I would recommend making a complete image of the entire system. This is a good thing to have for recovery from future disasters as well as any you might create today.

The /home directory has a lot of your customization information in it. I am not absolutely sure that it is hardware independent, but it seems like that is something Linux strives to accomplish. Thus, if both machines have identical hardware, I don't see a problem. If not, there might be a issues in that some of the customizations would not work. Or worse, they might cause a malfunction in the system due to broken hardware references.

Also, if you are using the /home directory as a boot up mount point, you might want to change that. Again, I'm not sure if there are specific references the the mount point or if any ol' /home directory will do.

Like yourself, I'd be tempted to just make the appropriate backups and go. You can always reinstall the image if there are major problems.
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Re: Moving /home to new computer?

Postby Kellemora » 18 Mar 2013, 13:03

Thanks Yogi

It is a new clean install, so giving it a try to see what happens wouldn't really hurt anything.
If all else fails I can put the /home that was installed with the fresh install back again.

I guess I'll learn by doing, hi hi.....

TTUL
Gary
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