I recently upgraded my ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10, but while playing around trying to restore the GNOME classic (I really don't like the unity), I screwed something up. Ubuntu did not came back after restarting... I was stuck.

So I burned an installation CD and reinstalled Ubuntu (upgrade from 11.10 to 11.10) so the data was saved. However, I used a different username on installation by mistake, and now I've got two home folders: /home/new_user/ and /home/old_user/.

The old_user is not registered as a user (it's not listed in the LightDM login screen), and I really just need one user, with my old data and configuration.

So: is there a quick way to fix it? As in, get my old_user to be the only user with all my settings back?

Thank you.

  • Just copy the contents of the home folder to the new one, including the hidden folders, and there is no "classic" session anymore Unity uses Gnome 3 not Gnome 2 as before so, either you completly uninstall gnome 3 and install gnome 2 or use another enviroment. – Uri Herrera Oct 26 '11 at 21:17
  • just copying won't be sufficient... i had some modifications to /opt & /etc folders as well... (I installed some stuff there...) also, what about all the environment variables? or anything else i might have changed and forgot about...? – gilad hoch Oct 26 '11 at 21:23
  • Copying will probably be your best bet. As far as /opt, and /etc, unless you know what you're doing, you'll be better off just reinstalling whatever you had. – Matt Oct 26 '11 at 21:38

The best option would be indeed to turn the new user into the old user.

Have a look at the /etc/passwd file:

new_user:x:1000:1000:New User,,,:/home/new_user:/bin/bash

Edit this line only as root to:

old_user:x:1000:1000:Old User,,,:/home/old_user:/bin/bash

Then reset the old users password: passwd old_user as root.

  • eventually i reinstalled again using the correct name, and deleted the unneeded folder. thanks. – gilad hoch Nov 1 '11 at 4:18

You can change the location of the home directory of a user - perhaps that's what you want. Read about the usermod command.


If you are using your /home/new_user and only want data like your favorites of your firefox and the configuration (for example) move it..

sudo mv /home/old_user/.mozilla /home/new_user

move every configuration file from the old to the new one.

other solucion if you have the /home in other partition change your fstab settings..

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