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My /home directory is about 200 GB and encrypted. I need to reinstall Ubuntu 12.04 (fresh install) to fix some problems and and concerned that I might lose access or have to format /home during the installation. Is it easy and possible to reinstall without losing /home?

What should I keep in mind in order to preserve the directory and be able to decrypt it after re-installation?

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Please specify the way you encrypted your /home volume. Popular ways are 'ecryptfs' and using 'dm-crypt' (Luks). Or explain how you've set it up in the first place. –  gertvdijk Sep 11 '12 at 19:31
    
I simply ticked the encryption option when installing 12.04 when I initially installed it. Looks ecryptfs in that case... –  Sander Sep 14 '12 at 19:12
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1 Answer 1

If your /homeis on a separate partition, then when you install make sure that you don't format that partition.

I'm not sure if the installer will try to mess with the partition, so the safest thing would be to make a copy of /home (from the Live CD using either dd or cp -a) and then restoring that copy after the reinstall. You'll also need to make sure that your user information in /etc/passwd is the same before and after the reinstall.

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