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

From: Dave M G <>
Reply-To: Tokyo Linux Users Group <>
To: Tokyo Linux Users Group <>
Subject: [tlug] Regaining System Sanity (was: Feisty Upgrade)
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2007 21:10:33 +0900


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?
Sounds like you actually have a plan for the most part.
Gparted is certainly the way to go for the partitioning, and it is a very
good instinct on your part not to just give the install 5gigs.  JUST the
operating system itself, the parts that are needed for everything to run,
a basic install of X and a web browser would fit in that space I THINK.

However, I don't know many people that only run that much. Most people
want lots of little packages that take up space fast. ^.^ 90GB is a lot safer
guess in my oppinion. ^.^

CP works just fine for moving the contents of a home directory, just make sure
that you do it as root, or using su (or sudo). After you actualy copy the files,
make sure to chown the directory to it's final owner, using the -R option.

All in all, linux doesn't really care a whole lot about how your home directory
is built or tacked onto the system, as long as the name matches the format
that it's configuration files specify. :P

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