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I got to a state when upgrade is not possible - old system (10.10, packages index too broken) I dediced to reinstall.

Now I'd like to keep my /home. Ideally, I'd like to burn a CD or ISO to USB and click Next, Next, Next.

How should I proceed?

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Do you have your Home on a different partition? –  Uri Herrera Mar 7 '13 at 19:43
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With 12.04 + you can just install, separate /home partition or not. Either way, make a back up before installing, you need to back up important data anyways. –  bodhi.zazen Mar 7 '13 at 19:49
    
The "upgrade" will be similar to this: askubuntu.com/questions/52332/upgrading-from-10-04-to-11-04 –  Takkat Mar 7 '13 at 20:31

2 Answers 2

While it would be preferable to make a backup of your data, you should simply be able to "reinstall" Ubuntu (that should be an option on the live USB); it will keep all the programs it can and it should not touch your documents (ie /home/). However, I've only tried this when upgrading newer releases to the newest and while it should work with 10.10, I strongly encourage you to backup your data. (If you need free storage, you could try Mega - you get 50GB for free).

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You should definitely backup your /home directory.

Also, I would consider backing up your /etc/ directory and other places that may contain programs or customized files or settings (such as .config).

If /home is on a separate partition, then you can just reuse it. Take care that you doesn't toggle the format option to "on" in the partitioning dialog.

That aside, my advice is that you start from scratch and re-partition your disk. IMHO, you will need a bigger /usr/ partition than you did with 10.10.
Also, you can upgrade from the ext3 filsystem to ext4, and perhaps you could even consider migrating to LVM.

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