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I'd like to migrate from Ubuntu 12.10 to Mint 14, but it's important that I keep everything which is in my /home directory. Will it work if I just put the directory on a USB stick, then replace the default one by ny old one after the install is complete (I'll use the same username/paaswd on the new install)?

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closed as off topic by Jorge Castro, hhlp, belacqua, Marco Ceppi Nov 27 '12 at 21:26

Questions on Ask Ubuntu are expected to relate to Ubuntu within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Mint is off-topic on this site. You might want to ask on Unix & Linux – Marco Ceppi Nov 27 '12 at 21:27
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sure. I'd use something like tar (there are other options, rsync, cp, cpio):

cd /media/usb-stick/
tar -pcvzf home.$USER.tar.gz /home/$USER

To unpack on new computer:

cd /
tar -xvzf /media/usb-stick/home.$USER.tar.gz

If you have any permission problems after, do this:

# own everything in your home dir by you.  This is usually safe/correct,
# unless you have some unusual permissions set up somewhere (like a directory
# for sharing files with other users on the system) 
chown -R $USER:$USER ~

Some problems you may run into:

  • Disk Space: make sure your usb stick has enough space
  • File size too big: If your home directory has more than 2G of files, you might create a file too big for a fat32 usb-stick. Either format it ext3, tar up partial directories, copy in batches or use another method to archive things (rsync, network copy it, etc)
  • if you don't use tar, and use cp or rsync, you need to copy to a unix filesystem, like ext3. Copying to a fat usb-disk without using tar will mess up permissions.
  • dot files: make sure if you do partial directories, you don't forget all the files in your home directory that start with a dot (hidden).
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I wouldn't do it. It will be safer to save your data & do a clean install. There's no guarantee that the config files will match & that could create conflicts.

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My suggestion is to use cinnamon instead of migrating to mint

Cinnamon 1.6, the latest edition of the desktop environment whose development was partly inspired by popular dissatisfaction with Unity and GNOME 3 was released yesterday. It is a project from the developers of Linux Mint, a desktop distribution derived from Ubuntu.

As a Free Software desktop environment and project, you can install it on any distribution, provided there is a binary package for it. Without that, you can compile it from source, if doing business at the command-line does not scare you.

Ubuntu Cinnamon PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable

sudo apt-get update 

sudo apt-get install cinnamon
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