Ubuntu: Home dir at upgrade



Question:

I am upgrading from Ubuntu 12.04 lts to 16.04 lts. Can I copy the /home dir from 12.04 without changes?


Solution:1

Your mp3s and pr0n would still work. But my best guess would be that all the apps you use and that have their configuration files stored in your home dir have changed so much that they cannot read their old configuration. Even Bash would probably have a hard time executing its old files.

My advise would be to back up your entire home dir (all your data really), perform a fresh install of 16.04, and then try to restore one thing at a time. Either go through your backup from .a to .z or even better: Restore things when you start missing them - like your mail in .thunderbird or all your lovely .bash_aliases.

My experience with upgrading is that usually the fresh new system is so nice and improved that there's not very much that I care to restore anyway. But some things I do, so do make that backup.

Upgrading is like turning your underwear inside out; it's clean ... but not really.


Solution:2

I recommend not doing that. The system has hidden folders inside the home directory are specific to the setup on the system. Some of those files are specific to the version of software on the machine, and as a result can cause errors. I recommend backing up important files (Documents, music, code, etc...) to a flash drive, and then doing a fresh install. Then, using the flash drive, restore the contents back onto the machine.


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