I've been considering migrating my laptop from Ubuntu to Debian. I didn't set up a separate home partition. Is it as easy as just installing Debian over Ubuntu?
First thing first, move that home directory to a new partition. It's really not that difficult to do (I made the same mistake, took ~30 min to do, most of it copying). I'll give you a simple step-by-step, but more detailed walkthroughs are available.
After you have /home on its own parition, changing your distro is incredibly simple. Just download a live cd and/or an installation disk for the distribution you want and install it on the same partition hosting your current distro (or on a seperate partition for multi-boot purposes).
Then, after you have the distro installed, just follow steps 4-6 again (if the options for a custom
An over-the-top upgrade will not work.
Before you do anything else, backup your data (though that should go without saying).
Then you could: