System re-install..excluding the data, possible?

Hi all,
So, in light of updates, my (still latent) fear of updates and changes to my system (sorry, I'm an old girl, and old habits die hard :slight_smile: ) and me being prudent...I have taken to frequent backups (woohoo)...
Nonetheless...
Is it possible to reinstall the system without reinstalling the data?
I have a 32-bit install gone bad...(not enough space and "stuff exists in the system") and would simply reinstall..ONLY....the system...
If possible, how'd I go about it? Using the graphical and/or the CLI installer, I can handle both, I'm a clever girl :slight_smile:
Melissa
:smile_cat:

What do you mean by excluding the data ? You mean the /home directory ? In this case if you have chosen a separate partition for you /home then yes you can do it easily from any installer by just selecting as /home the current one during the partitioning step and unchecking any option that formats it.

@koukourikos - yep, exactly what I mean. The /home is on sda4...at any rate, there is a backup...but it'd save some time if I can saveguard the /home partition...

I'm installing my system often due heavy development. Therefore I've also my data on a separate /home partition. You can use either the cli or graphical installers, as long as you use the manual options and not automatic to keep your home-dir. You can read the Beginners Guide from page 44 on. However keep the format checkbox for your home-dir unchecked to not format it. Additional packages and apps you have to reinstall, though.

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Yep as mentioned I have separate /home and during install manually prep my partitions.
Making sure I assign the same /home partition but make sure the format button is un-checked.
And assign same root but select format to put whatever flavor there.


Download the above pdf and follow the instructions from the chapter
Using the graphical installer - experienced users on page 41
When you are at the Advanced installation mode.
Select as / (root) and swap and boot (if you have it separately) the previous partitions and click on the format checkbox.

For /home selected again your previous partition but do not format it.

In the end, you configuration should be similar to the one on page 46 but he format checkbox on home should be unchecked !
the rest of the steps would be just following the installers instructions.

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better to choose one partition with calamares --> /
/home will not be touched
add after in fstab for /home

I am not familiar with Calamares but wouldn't this way create by default a new home directory under / for the new user ?

you can re-install on one partition , with the others presents , any installer must not touch on data /home in this case , use the same name for login

I have 2 data partitions (not /home), one for longer storage and one for shorter duration and for keeping configuration files.
I don't bother much with /home (which is in /), except that I sym-link some configuration files from the shorter data partition to the /home, like .mozilla or .thunderbird. That way, it is very easy to install or try out any OS without worrying about lost or recovering data. I also sym-link some OS config files so I don't lose my OS personal settings. It makes easier uninstalling or testing any OS (or mucking it up).

After installing an OS, I create an fstab entry to mount the shorter data partition.
The OS partition itself is much smaller without data, most below 10 GB, some as small as 4 GB but suggest with kde plasma to allow at least 20 GB to allow the frequent 'flux' of updates.

even if it creates a new user folder in /home, you can delete it and mount the home partition on /home via fstab

I guess it might additionally be useful to have a list of all the packages installed on the system, so you can have them automatically reinstalled...

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman/Tips_and_tricks#List_of_installed_packages

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You may consider using Timeshift to make things easy. Timeshift is like system restore in Windows.

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These replies I made in another thread might be of interest to you Melissa:

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