I would like to install a fresh ubuntu 11.04 on my home computer that has a few user accounts I will need to restore. I currently use 'Back in Time' to back up my data. I want to make sure everyone's account is preserved with their data and settings and was wondering if these backups will suffice? If I restore their folders into the new 'home' folder on the fresh install, will this recreate their accounts and settings? Or is there a better way to accomplish this?


Ideally, /home should be on a separate partition. Then, when you install, specify your partitions manually. Set up your home partition to live at /home and make sure you don't format it. Then, you should have everything set up fine.

If you don't have a separate partition, you can use GParted to resize your partition and create a /home partition (which should usually be the largest partition) as ext4 or ext3. Then, copy everything in /home to the new partition and set up fstab.

# Assuming that the new partition has been created
# and formatted as ext4 and is known as /dev/sda2.
sudo mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
sudo cp -av /home/* /mnt  # The -a option is really important here; if you forget it, things will break.

# Verify that everything was copied correctly; then...
cd /home  # Make sure that nothing is using your home directory--not even the current working directory.
sudo rm -r /home/*
sudo umount /mnt && sudo mount /dev/sda2 /home

Then, add the following line to /etc/fstab:

/dev/sda2    /home    ext4    relatime    0 2

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.