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Re: Easy way to migrate a Slackware system to debian?

> Bruno Boettcher wrote:
> > 
> > Hello,
> > 
> > I have a running slackware system on a computer which lacks a CD.... so since
> > this is a running linux system i figure that it should be possible to migrate
> > it towards debian.... is there somewhere a help about this? would it be enough
> > to install apt?
> Hi,
> Of course, it will always be possible to migrate to Debian, and the way
> is called: install from scratch.

Well, yes, but he could save all his configuration files, user accounts,
and other stuff, so that he could restore whatever he needs to restore.
The problem here is to have a spare partition big enough to keep those
filesystems, or a tape media with enough space (probably not since he
does not even have a CD drive).

OTH, if he already has his disk partitioned, he could:

a) ftp download a basic Debian distribution, make the boot floppies, and
copy the rest somewhere else (but where?  floppy capacity is no good, so
the "basic" distro should be very basic... very small).

b) if his /home directory is kept in a partition of it's own, he could
copy other directories into it with the `cp -a -r' command

c) then, run (c)fdisk on every partition but the one where /home is, and
start Debian installation on those partitions (just be very careful not
to touch the old /home partition)

d) The new /home directory would be, for now, in the same partition as
/usr (ie. not put in a different partition)

e) Once the system is up and running, mount the old /home directory
(`mount -t ext2 /dev/hdxn /mnt' ... where hdxn is the partition where
the old /home directory lies) and start restoring those things that CAN 
be restored

d) He could then remove all stuff in the new /home directory, and mount
the old /home directory in the new /home directory, writing it to

/dev/hdnx /home ext2 defaults 0 2

Now, this is all theoretical, and I am assuming that he already has his
disk partitioned.  I've done something similar a couple of times.  I
can't remember how I dealt with user passwords, but may be the lines
with the users passwords could be restored ... except for the root user?

> All right, maybe this doesn't help... but I don't think that there's a
> simple way (install Debian and you preserve everything; apps, your
> personal files, your system's settings in /etc) to do it.

In fact, all the above is not simple, and I'm not sure it's trouble free
at all, but it's worth to try (did I mention to BACKUP everything
important before starting anything else?).

BTW, I wonder if it's possible to have a "hybrid" system of Slackware
and Debian and how (and what should belong to one of them, or could be
part of both).  I believe that one main difference between one and
another distro is that Debian makes use of some SysV init system, and
Slackware of BSD init system ... or?


Horacio					Anno MMDCCLII ad Urbe condita
 ~ Spain ~Spanje ~ Spanien
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