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Leo Navis
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Joined: 07 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:59 pm    Post subject: Trying to keep data while re-installing Linux Reply with quote

Hi,

First of all, I have little experience in Gentoo so don't expect me to understand everything right away, I may ask stupid questions ...

Now. I have an installation of Sabayon Linux on my Computer, it fills up my entire 320gb. The Sabayon works fine but there are several issues that makes me want to use the original again. I do have problems using the program-manager for example portage was so much easier - I also enjoyed pacman ... but I decided for Gentoo again since some time I don't feel the way Arch has taken.

Back then, when I installed Sabayon however (before that was Windows, mostly better for Gaming) I was stupid and didn't make a /home partition. Instead, it's all on the / , crumbled up like shit.

So here's my question. Without using a second drive is it possible to save the /home-data while reinstalling the rest of the system? Like an overwrite over a livedvd.

Is that possible? Would be great. I'd hate losing all my data.

Thx in advance,
Leonard
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Hu
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. The details vary depending on whether you want to take this time to split it out to a separate partition or just put down Gentoo and retain the single partition design. Regardless of your choice, I suggest you verify your most recent backup before you begin. This procedure will only lose data if you make a mistake, but mistakes are easy to make here and can be quite destructive.

I or someone else here can elaborate on whichever option you choose. The description below is a summary of the paths so that you can decide which you want. I do not expect you to complete the conversion using just the summaries here.

If you want to switch to multiple partitions, and you have enough free space, you can shrink the filesystem, then shrink the containing partition, create a new partition in the freed area, create a new filesystem there, and copy data over.

If you want to retain the current partition structure, you can set aside the Sabayon files, then install a new root filesystem based on Gentoo. If you are desperate or ambitious, this can be done inside the system being converted. I recommend against this, because a mistake can break the old system before the new system is ready, leaving you with a LiveDVD as your only way to boot the system.

Which way would you like to proceed?
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way you describe the condition of the system, no, there is no way.

320 Gb is full, so you can't shrink it enough to make space on that drive for a duplication of whatever size (you didn't tell us) the files on /home take up.

You would have to copy the files on /home to something else.
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cboldt
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, reading Hu's remark, and assuming you are willing to work from separate media, maybe you could.

Boot from separate media.
Mount the Sabayon drive
Delete the dickens out of stuff on the Sabayon drive, but keep the material on /home

Now the question will be how much of that 320 Gb was /home stuff, and how much free space you have on the Sabayon drive after deleting Sabayon. At that point, again (or still) working from an O/S fired up from separate media ...

A few options for installing a new O/S on what was the Sabayon drive. I would dedicate a partition to /home, but I don't think that is necessary either.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leo Navis,

Does "full" mean that there is no room on the drive for other things or that the partition you have is dedicated to Sabayon.

Run
Code:
sudo du --max-depth=1 /
and show us the output.
It shows where your space is used. It will take a while to run as it will read your entire directory tree.

Show us
Code:
df -h
too. It tells how much free space you have on your drive.

Don't do anything destructive yet. Hu has outlined your options. The above information will help inform your decision.
_________________
Regards,

NeddySeagoon

Computer users fall into two groups:-
those that do backups
those that have never had a hard drive fail.
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Syl20
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Trying to keep data while re-installing Linux Reply with quote

Leo Navis wrote:
I'd hate losing all my data.

Then you should make backups.
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