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Re: Install debian from scratch and keep a home partition

Le Jeu 25 avril 2013 12:54, Dan a écrit :
> Hi,
> As I explained in a previous email I had an issue with the ATI driver
> and squeeze and I decided to wipe squeeze and install wheezy. Luckily the
> home partition is separated from the rest.
> Which would be the best way to proceed?
> I was going to do the following:
> - Backup home and the files from /etc passwd, group, shadow and gshadow

As other have said, I do not think keeping files from passwd, group,
shadow and gshadow is a good idea.

> - Install wheezy (I think it is possible to wipe the partition during
> the installation) - Remove the home directory

Simply keep the home dir and specify the installer that you will want it
mounted as your /home. If possible, remove configuration files (but keep a
backup for next steps) before reinstalling.

> - Mount the old home partition using fstab (using also blkid in order
> to use the UUID) - merge the old passwd, group, shadow and gshadow with the
> new files found in /etc

I have to idea about why you are bothering with UUIDs here: simply say to
installer you want to use your current home partition as /home and that
you do not want to format it, and you'll be done.

For stuff in /etc and ~/, I think the best is to compare the version you
will have backed up to current ones.
Some tools you can use:
_ diff for command-line. I do not think this is really the best one
honestly, because you will see differences, but syncing files to something
coherent is boring with the combination of diff and a text editor.
_ meld if you use a gtk-based desktop (it also works on other, but maybe
KDE have a better tool for that). This one is the one I use when I need to
merge source code files: it's GUI is comfortable to use, and will allow
you to send to destination only differences you want quite easily.

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