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[tlug] Regaining System Sanity (was: Feisty Upgrade)


I've got a lot of irons in the fire right now as far as my system goes. The networking issues in another thread, the USB problems, and Zend platform installations that I'm handling elsewhere, other details as well.

I've got to step back a bit and get this system under control, because I'm starting to spend more time putting out fires than actually using my computer for my work.

What's become increasingly undeniable is that my system has a lot of gremlins in it. They got there most likely because in the year or so that I've had my machine, I've made a lot of configuration settings were either uninformed or pushing the envelope, and they are compounding and increasingly creating hard to trace effects.

I think what's in order here is for me to make a fresh start of things. I hope you guys will help me plan these following steps and warn me of any gotchas.


My goal is to repartition my hard drive so that in the end what I have is two partitions, one for the Ubuntu system, and one for my /home directory.

To get there is going to involve a little bit of moving around partitions. But my computer has a lot of free space - 250 GB HD, of which I'm currently filling up about 90 GB of it. So I think I can take advantage of that fact to go about this safely and logically. Also at the critical stages I can back up my most important data to my girlfriend's laptop.

So, what I need to do is:

1. Resize the current partition from 220 GB down to about 100GB. (Use the live CD and gnome partition editor)

2. Create a partition for making a fresh install of Ubuntu, about 50 GB. Although I'm reading on some web pages that 5 GB is enough for this task. But here's one of the confusion points... wouldn't a partition that housed just the system need a lot of space for applications and all their temp files and whatnot?

3. Create a /home partition with the rest of the space, at least 70 GB. Although that's less than the 90 GB I'm currently using, the total of my personal data, minus system stuff and deletable garbage, should fit into there.

4. Copy the contents of my current home directory to my "home" partition. This part is a little vague to me. I've read that just using "cp" isn't quite good enough.

5. Mount the "home" partition to be the "home" directory for the new installation.
Is this step as easy as adding:
/dev/hd[?] /home ext3 nodev,nosuid 0 2
... to /etc/fstab? (where hd[?] is the hard drive designation?

6. Leave my original partition up for a while, using it as a reference in case there are settings I want to duplicate on my new installation.

7. When I'm confident my old partition doesn't have any data I need, delete it.

8. Move the new system partition down to the beginning of the new free space.

9. Expand the home partition to fill the available size.

Is all this reasonable? Have I made any mistakes?

Dave M G
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn
Kernel 2.6.20-13-386
Pentium D Dual Core Processor

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