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I am running Ubuntu Maverick and I'm about to upgrade to 11.04. When I installed 10.10, I decided to set up a separate partition for my /home directory. Will Ubuntu automatically detect my separate /home partition and use it in Natty? If not, what can I do to configure this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can boot with the live cd or live-usb and when you reach the screen where it asks you where to install, the last option will allow you to set the partitions manually.

There, you select each partition and tell the installer where to mount each one. For me is this:

/dev/sda1 format ext4 mount point: /

/dev/sda6 NO FORMAT ext4 mount point: /home

/dev/sda5 swapp

The important thing is to identify correctly the partitions. If you want to be sure you can do:

sudo fdisk -l


cat /etc/fstab

in maverick to know what partitions you have and where are they mounted.

If the partitions are allready in ext4, the installer wont try to format it. Be sure you check the "format" option in the partition than you choose to be the root, and most important, DO NOT CHECK the format option in the partition that's gonna be your home. This way the installation will be completely clean but your home will remain.

Also, when it asks you for name and password be sure to use exactly the same you're using in the previous installation.

One last thing. Since you make a clean install (not an upgrade) when you log in you'll probably see errors like "can't load applet..." because probably you have applets and programs set on the startup than the clean install CD doesn't include. Don't worry, install them in synaptic and the next time you log in they'll be there.

Good luck!

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Thank you darent. I've printed this for reference during installation. – Thomas Boxley Apr 30 '11 at 15:54
You're wellcome :) Just be sure about not formating the home partition. If you do something wrong there's always some way to repeat the installation if the /home/ partition hasen't been formated and still keep your configuration. Also, as user15679 said an upgrade will keep your home automatically, but never worked for me and i've allways ended doing a clean install. – darent Apr 30 '11 at 15:57
I always do this. Keeps my preference, and home folder untouched – user May 1 '11 at 7:59

When using the upgrade method (so not booting any install media) which I'm assuming you are doing, you don't have to do anything special. It will work just fine and stay the way you want it to be.

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