Fresh 20.2 install, but keep my existing work files - Not just an update

When I last installed Manjaro, it was suggested that I put certain things on certain partitions so that upgrades could be done in the future. I have kept up with the stable updates, but I think it is time to see what the new flavor of configurations is, and if a move is warranted from KDE to XEFC.

I thought here would be the best place to ask what the process would be, and to ask if it might be too adventurous given this is a work machine and I am more of a user, than a Linux Manjaro “tinkerer”.

Of value to know is that I have a fairly old desktop, running an i7 and an AMD Radeo HD 7870.

I have a big SSD and I use an external NAS for a lot of work stuff.

This is a picture of my partitions:

I will admit that I am still confused by grub, Boot and UEFI! And as a caution, in the beginning of moving to Manjaro, I recall some struggles with having the BIOS and Graphics card set correctly to get past UEFI issues. I am hoping that is all fixed now with the newer works of Manjaro, but most have been moving to newer and newer systems, and my next desktop build may not happen at least for a few months!

Any comments, thought or suggestions would be helpful for me to decide a path, or to keep doing updates.

If you want any system info, please send me the terminal commands for what you need and I will post back. Thanx for the consideration on this, and thank you for Manjaro, my favorite OS of all!

Lastly, Thank you for the support. It has gotten better and better as the ranks of users has increased.

It doesnt look like you created any separate partition for /home or similar.
So you will either have to rely on installer automation where possible (again without a separate partition I am not sure this is possible with any supported installers)…

Or more reliably and more likely … you will have to backup/save your stuff and do a clean install.

I am not sure what you are referring to here but manjaro doesnt have any issues with EFI.
(unless maybe you count ‘secure boot’)

My recommendation is to use BackInTime to backup your entire Home directory, then as @cscs stated, create a separate partition for the /home directory. ----make sure you record the back settings of BackInTime, maybe take a screenshot.

As for the BIOS/UEFI, it is best to disable any legacy BIOS and use only UEFI. Disable any CSM etc…

I am sorry folks!
I was so sure I had seen home in my partition table. Even sending in the screen capture, I didn’t notice it was not there.
I did have a failure some time ago and replaced the HD with an SSD. Perhaps that is the drive that I had them separated, and home on its own.
That said, is it advised to put home on its own partition, or should I just go with whatever the installer suggests?

Thank you!

@DeLinuxCo I will go try BackInTime. I have had success with TimeShift, but at one point it filled my HD to the point that I had do creative deleting to get things moving again!

@cscs You always seem to be around to help. Thank you!
It may be that the problem was the Secure Boot. I just can’t remember now. I do remember that the graphics card was incompatible in some way with EFI, which may have been the reason for a conflict.

I will watch for the answer about how to partition and setup a new system, and maybe take the dive.


Hey there.
I personally dont keep a separate home. But if you plan on reinstalling using relatively similar systems and/or are comfortable dealing with anything odd like leftover .config files that are incompatible … then it might be useful for you.

Also … I will mention here Transfuse … which in its basic form will allow you to create a package-list and copy your relevant configs and such that can make the migration rather seamless.
If you intend to use it please make sure to read the intructions :wink:
(Note - be aware there are more advanced options to interact with root … but they are, ehem, ‘advanced’)

@Zeddock BackInTIme and Timeshift must be used to store backups on a separate drive.

Use backintime only for your user directory. It will backup your entire user directory but allows you to restore individual files, hidden files or the entire directory. SO if you switch to a different desktop enviroment, restore only your personal files etc. But even then, you can go in and retrieve certain config files and restore them etc.

I have found that using Timeshift for system backup and BackInTime for the user directory has given me the best results.

That is great info. Thank you!
“user directory” means home, right? And that is why home on its own partition would be of benefit, perhaps.

It looks like @cscs has a great option too, because even if I kept the home partition, there will be config files that should be cleaned up and considered while going to a new install… for that matter, those configs might be the difference between an updated stable OS, and a fresh install!

Thank you all!

@cscs, I was playing around to try this and got the below. Wonder why the script would look for a file rather than a directory? And did the failure to find it end the process early?


$ ./ -b jim
rsync: [sender] change_dir "/usr/share/wallpapers/Breath2/contents/images/1920x1080.png\#012/usr/share/wallpapers/Br
eath2/contents/images" failed: No such file or directory (2)
rsync error: some files/attrs were not transferred (see previous errors) (code 23) at main.c(1330) [sender=v3.2.3]
mv: cannot stat './jim_transfusion_20201204_0955/.local/share/wallpapers/1920x1080.png': No such file or directory

We copied and compressed items recursively from:


The compressed backup is timestamped and named jim_transfusion_20201204_0955.tar.gz

hm. I may have to look at it again :wink:

(though that msg seems odd … in any case appears to only be the wallpaper)

Right. As long as it doesn’t stop prematurely by it.

Thanx for building that.

Cheers. Check inside the archive … you should see all your goodies there.

Probably from this … but the explanation is also reassuring :sweat_smile:

Nice goodies. It explains some of what is pulled in operating the OS.
Thank you!

I thought TimeShift could NOT store on another drive unless you use BTRFS mode?
…and I used rsync.

Is this not true? Because TS would be best for me for this, but only if I can save it and recover it (BU) from the NAS.

My Timeshift and BackInTime backups are both going to my external USB drive with an EXT4 partition.

I have no experience with BTRFS…

I was not able to see the NAS through TimeShift, and also noticed that Timeshift had filled too big of a portion of my HD. I am not sure how to improve the configuration so that does not happen again, but i will figure it out.

Ultimately, I used BackInTime for a backup to the NAS, then for surety, I used Clonezilla on a USB drive. That worked well after I figure out how to get the NAS seen and working. (My OLDER version of Clonezilla is sometimes confusing on Source / Target /Repository terms, and I didn’t want to overwrite the entire NAS!)

I am up now, sporting Xfce for a while to see how I like it.

Thanx for the help.