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In a previous question, I explained my situation/plan: backing up home directory on external drive, reformatting laptop drive, installing 14.04, putting home directory back. (It hasn't happened yet because I can't seem to find the down time, in case things aren't working right away.)

It occurred to me that maybe I don't want all of those hidden files and directories (e.g. .local/share/ubuntuone/syncdaemon/, .cache/google-chrome/, etc.) Just judging by the amount of time in copying, I can tell that some of these hidden directories are large.

Question: Are there any hidden directories that I obviously don't need/want when I have the laptop running an updated distribution? Will they cause conflicts? (I plan on copying the backed-up directory tree back onto the laptop with the --no-clobber option.)

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Unless you have a custom configuration file that you manually edited / wrote you do not "need" any of them. Ones you might like to keep would be .mozilla (for firefox), .ssh (for ssh keys), and .gpg (if you use gpg), and .bashrc/.zshrc/.vimrc, if you have a custom file(s).

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