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I'm using Fedora 15 (2.6.40.4-5.fc15.x86_64) on an HP Mini 210. I'm planning to re-install Fedora 15.

I have backed up my home directory. Do I need to back up all the hidden files in my home directory? Most of them are just self-generated configuration files, e.g. xsession-errors. I'm already planning to back up some files, like my emacs and git. What about the rest? Are there any particular files that I should back up? Will it cause any problems if I overwrite the hidden files from the clean install with my current hidden files?

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Are you experiencing issues with your current install? What applications or features are causing issues? I would back up the config files for the things you need such as RSA keys but avoid anything related to programs you are having issues with. –  Dustin G. Sep 10 '11 at 4:06
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Yes, backup everything. A backup only is worthfull when you backup all you'll need. And since you're asking about the hidden files, this indicates that you're not sure if you'll need something from the hidden files.

If you have space and time, backup everything.

The second question is about the restore. A good practive is never restore things just "to restore". Just restore what you need. So, after you have reinstalled everything, begin to restore things you know you'll need: documents, music, video, etc. And them just restore the conf files when you need them.

You can do a little research before restoring (or even using) your programs. For example, thunderbird will create one profile when you first install it. Research a little and you'll recover the old profile without having to open thunderbird, create new profile, and them have all the way restoring the old (backuped) profile inside the new one.

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In this situation I tend to back up the whole lot (e.g. tar -cvzf myhome_backup.tar /home/myhome ) and only move back folders when it turns out I need them.

In other words, untar the backup into a subdirectory of my new home directory and move things back across when required. This way you won't accidentally overwrite something important.

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