I want to reinstall system with new desktop environment. How can i do it without losing my /home data?

I would like to perform a full system reinstall but without losing user data

Backup your user data then. If it is a separate partition, just don’t erase it.

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Нow to make a backup?


… copy everything you want to preserve
or just everything in general
from your home directory to somewhere else, to another disk,
where from you can then copy back to the new installation what you want/need

Also since you are changing desktop I wouldn’t bother with any settings since many are specific to the desktop. I do my backups with external USB connected drives and just drag my home folder over, (copy and paste) You might want to also add your browsers bookmarks which you can export from the browser.

My suggestion, once you have the back up done, is to partition the disk, during the installation, into 3 or 4 partitions

efi (/efi) if applicable
root (/)
home (/home)

As an Aside: back in the day the automatic partitioning scheme on Mandrake Linux was to create 3 partitions root (/) swap and home (/home), this was done automatically by the installer, and swap was calculated based on the amount of RAM available.

I have followed this scheme ever since, even though every installer now follows the Microsoft Windows scheme, one huge root (/) partition.

The benefit of having separate partitions is that backing up the home files is unnecessary, even when you install a completely different Linux OS, just use Manual Partitioning, and set the root Partition to reformat, making sure to set the home partition to ‘use this partition’

@Kodeekk If this has been your daily driver, you might also consider whether you can reconstruct your contacts/email addresses and important active email threads, etc. from your /home directory that you’ll be copying to another storage device.

Otherwise, if they’re not already in your home directory, you may find these to be unavailable following a fresh install if not preserved elsewhere (off that platform).

I forget about emails and contacts since I use Gmail Makes upgrading the phone easier as well. Kmail has a backup utility. I remember it being a bit fussy when I last used it probably a decade ago or more

Yeah, well it’s probably time to let those decades old emails go. Don’t be a digital hoarder. :wink:

I hope everyone realises that the OP’s profile states he is a 14 yr old kid. The person laughing at him should be ashamed.


Do you have an external drive or a DVD writer or a USB drive that you can copy your files to?

If not you should get one if any files are important to you. I have only ever lost one drive, and though the files were not important it was a pain to replace them. I now have 3 backup drives. I do timeshifts and copy over to an external drive files I want backed up.

I also keep my files off of my main drive using sym links to home. That is one strategy, TracyAnne gave a better one where you just keep home itself on a separate partition or drive.

@Kodeekk Awesome! Very impressive to hear you’ve been using Linux for 3 years already. You’re on a grand journey, :+1:


Please don’t get me wrong - since I think I know what you want to express - but phrased like this I think it is misleading information.

Backing up your home files is always necessary to be on the safe side.

Mistakes can and will happen. The fact that a seperate home partition will make it easier to install another distro does that not mean that backups are not necessary.


If home is on another partition and will be used by two different installation what’s the actual benefit of actually installing anlther version?
I would just I install the new desktop environment in your already running installation.

Yes, but the capacity of my external SSD drive is smaller than the size of the files i would like to transfer. Can I create an auxiliary partition on a disk where I temporarily transfer files? Linux, these systems, as opposed to Windows, normally treat the reduction of system partitions?

Please search before asking.

This topic has been covered several times - no need to go over it again.

Most notably

In 22 years of doing it this way, from Novice, to what ever I might be now, I have never once backed up my home partition, in part because I don’t, and have rarely ever had a large enough spare HDD, or partition to back up onto.

That includes every upgrade, and every Distro change I’ve ever made. Including the botched upgrade on Linux Mint which I abandoned a couple of months ago. If I had not had a separate home partition, I would have most assuredly lost everything, and I could not have simply ‘plugged’ in Manjaro to replace Linux Mint.

The closest I’ve come to a backing up of my home partition is transferring files from an older computer to a newer one.

But yeah Back ups are good.

that said any further comments are wasted resources !
some threads like this one are such kind of stupid and idiotic !

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