I used to keep all my data on a separate ‘DATA’ partition so that it was available from all OS’s and so that when I messed something up by fixing till it broke all my data was fine. It also made reinstalling distros much quicker.
In the end all my work and personal data ended up on an external disk (#1), to make more space for distro’s and VMs. I also personally prefer to physically take this disk between work and home rather than using a cloud service.
However, I also have a Nextcloud Raspberry Pi which ‘real time’ syncs all my data to a second external disk #2 attached to that (its actually one of the Nextcloud Box’s they used to do). This also gives me access to my data when I don’t have external disk #1 with me.
Then, I use Grsync regularly to sync all my data from disk #1 to a third external disk (#3) that stays at home in a safe place.
And finally, I regularly use SyncBack free to also back up all those Grsync back-ups on disk #1 to the drive of my Windows computer at work. Just in case my house ‘burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp’.
I also have a ‘Cheat Sheet’ for each distro (I use Evernote with Nixnote2) with all the apps I have installed on it together with all the little ‘tricks’ or ‘workarounds’ etc that I have found out from forums etc so that getting back to a nice clean install with everything I use is easy.
I guess I could use a ‘clone’ or whatever it’s called, for this but I actually like the satisfaction of reinstalling everything, and with Linux it doesn’t take long.
The ‘Cheat Sheet’ also has any distro-specific solutions on it - e.g. the Manjaro sheet has the simple instructions I got from this forum (thanks!) to solve the Grub kernel panic that I get when Xubuntu updates (the kernel?) and rewrites the Grub (I think!):
If grub of other OS gets written (e.g. after update of that OS) and Manjaro stops booting with ‘Kernel Panic’ then:
boot up and press ‘c’ at the menu to get to the grub prompt (grub>).
grub> search.file /etc/manjaro-release root
grub> configfile /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Then, when booted:
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
This is helpful to me as someone who can follow instructions and understand most things to a degree but doesn’t really take (or have) time to understand the deeper meanings behind everything (or remember it for longer than a Goldfish).