Install Newer Version on Existing and Save Data

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Install Newer Version on Existing and Save Data

Postby Shadders » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:50 pm

Hi,

I did search the forums, but nothing specific to what i want to do.

I have an existing Centos5.5 build, and i want to keep data on that hard disk.

I want to install a new version of Centos or other version/flavour, so what is the best approach :

1. Backup existing data, install new version overwriting eisting ??

2. How should i partition the data on the same hard disk for any future upgrades or changes, such that this data is never overwritten - should i use a specific mount point - and what is the best installation method ?. (GUI based, or command line ???)

Can we assume only the one hard disk ?. Thanks.

Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.
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Postby johnhudson » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:48 pm

It depends on whether or not you have a separate /home partition, whether you use mysql and how much tinkering you have done.

If you have a separate /home partition, all your personal data will be there.

If you use mysql, you need to use mysqldump to backup your mysql databases to your /home partition.

If you tinker a lot, you probably also need to backup any files in /etc which you have modified to your /home partition.

Once you have everything you want to keep on your /home partition, back it up and proceed. Most distros will automatically leave /home untouched but it is better to be safe than sorry. (I have never had to use my backup.)

If you don't have a separate /home partition, you will need to back all these things up anyway. When you install the new version, look for an option to create a separate /home partition to make things easier in future.

(Note also that a handfull of other programs (e.g. evolution) will only restore, like mysql, from their own backup format. So back these up using their own format before you back up /home.)
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Postby Shadders » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:19 pm

Hi John,

Thanks for the reply.

As i was installing an application, i named the mount point /apps.

If i have non OS named mount points such as /apps, or /data etc., i assume i can install an OS over the existing OS but leave these mount points untouched ?.

if this is the case - which is the best method - GUI or CLI ?

Will the installers recognise the existing mount points ?

I keep on typing points, and the PC keeps on spelling pints, compooter is trying to tell me something.

If i want to install a different Linux OS, will there be any other issues i have to remember or plan for ?. Thanks.

Regards,

Shadders.
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Postby nelz » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:24 pm

The best approach is usually not to install at all but to upgrade your existing installation to the latest version with yum. There's a guide at http://www.if-not-true-then-false.com/2 ... de-centos/

If you do want to reinstall, you will need to backup /home if it is a desktop and /var if it is a server. You should also backup the contents of /etc.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby Shadders » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:52 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

So, are you suggesting backing up in case it all goes wrong, or are you indicating that backing up is required since you cannot install a different Linux flavour without the entire hard disk being affected ?.

Is this installer specific ?. so Ubuntnu is ok, but Fedora cannot since the installer is not very intelligent ?

Thanks and regards,

Richard.
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Postby nelz » Fri Jun 14, 2013 8:11 am

You back up in case it goes wrong, but that applies to anything you do, not just upgrading. An upgrade is only possible between versions of the same distro.
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Postby Shadders » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:42 am

Hi Nelz,

Thanks - yes, understand that upgrade is existing flavour.

I was also wondering if there is a resource stating that specific distributions can allow you to import existing partitions on the same hard disk.

Is it better to only use the disk space of the previous build, and then modify the Linux OS to import the previous mount point such as /data for example ?.

Again, is the GUI or CLI better for this ?.

I am assuming only one hard disk - as this is what i intend to use.

As such, with backups - is it recommended that this is on the same hard disk or CD ?. I still want to use one hard disk only - so another partition ?

Thanks and regards,

Shadders.
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Postby nelz » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Backups should be on a separate medium. All distro installers allow you to choose your partitioning layout, so you can reuse existing /home and /var partitions, retaining their contents. All distros (well, except Gentoo) use a GUI installer, even if it is ncurses in a console, so that question doesn't really matter - except the "proper" GUI installers are generally easier to find your way around.
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Postby Shadders » Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:02 pm

Hi Nelz,

Thanks - i will try the GUI with a /data and /apps mount point to see what occurs - i can backup on to another hard disk as a precaution (will be difficult due to SATA restrictions i have) but this will be a good test.

Thanks for your help -and others too. Much appreciated,

Regards,

Shadders.
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