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Well, I updated to Ubuntu 11.04 and let's just say, it's time for a new distribution. I have my /home directory mounted on it's own partition (which has been a life saver, btw) and I was wondering if there would be any reason to start over with a new home user directory. Keep in mind, I've been using the same $HOME directory for a couple of years now.

I'm thinking I'll be switching to Fedora.

So, long story short, would it be in my best interest to start over with a new $HOME and just copy my old data over?

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Having a separate /home is fine, but I see many people use that as an excuse to be lazy about their backups, and lose data when they screw something up. Please also make backups in addition to having a separate partition. – Zoredache Jun 7 '11 at 0:18
Thanks for your concern Zoredache, but I know the importance of backup :D I lost one of two HD's in my NAS, which I had stupidly formatted using JBOD... Let's just say, I was crying myself to sleep. Anything important now gets saved to a local repository, a remote repository, my NAS, and if I can, somewhere on Google! Writing that out makes me feel overly paranoid however. – Eric Coutu Jun 7 '11 at 0:29
Not quite an answer to the question, but you may consider keeping a Git repository of your dotfiles. I do this, and you can find my repository here. You can feel free to steal the script, or whatever else you find interesting. With the it's very easy to git clone, and ./ to get all your dotfiles back. – John M. Jun 7 '11 at 4:35
Cool, I'll have to check that out. – Eric Coutu Jun 7 '11 at 9:43
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Having the configuration of old versions of applications will sometimes mean that you will not see features present in the updated release. You may want to consider at least setting up a new account and checking out what a clean profile looks like.

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I hadn't even thought of that... I used to format religiously before I moved to Linux, it may feel nice to have a fresh start. Besides, I'm writing this from a live Fedora session, and Gnome 3 is not much beter than Unity. If I switch to KDE, not much point in keeping all those old config files around. – Eric Coutu Jun 7 '11 at 0:34

Seems like it would be worth a shot. At the very least if it all fails, then you move /home/Me to /Home/Me.bak and start over with a clean profile. Easy enough to move files and stuff back over.

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I would also create new account. Move your files from your home folder to another one, do not format the home partition during distro install and later you can copy some of the files back. But copy only those you know you will need. Because replacing settings of new app versions with settings used for older versions can cause problems. Some of them could be also "distro-specific" and I had on experience that trying to use settings from Suse for Ubuntu (both. old Gnome) is not a good idea. :-D

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