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How to migrate user settings and data to new machine?

I want to change machine and take my home directory with me. I made a copy of a home directory from my usual machine with 10.04 and put it on an external H\d. I would like to know where to copy it onto the new machine ith 11.10 without damaging the current home directory and if possible have my bookmarks in my new machines Firefox Thanks

marked as duplicate by jrg Jun 14 '12 at 17:07

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Just take care with the external hard drive, if it is FAT or NTFS it will not preserve permissions.

More likely then not you do not need or want all of your home directory. I would identify the things you want to transfer, firefox bookmarks, Documents, etc and put them in a tar ball (tar.gz). You can then put the tar ball on a FAT or NTFS partition and extract it on the other machine.

tar cvzf home.tar.gz .mozilla Documents

To extract

tar xvz home.tar.gz

Another option would be to use rsync


Copy everthing to a sub directory on your home directory. Then copy down only the stuff you care about to your users root directory.

Regarding the firefox bookmarks, I think you can convert them into HTML and import them later. In that way you can merge your bookmarks.


If you pass a w switch to tar during extraction, it will ask for confirmation before it overwrites.

tar xvfzw file.tar.gz

Or if done with bzip:

tar xvfjw file.tar.gz

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