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Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

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thomasl
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Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#1 Post by thomasl » Sun May 06, 2018 5:42 am

(Windows newbie alert.) I have just done a frugal install of 17.1, April x64 snapshot, on a Windows 8.1 system, with dual-boot. That works well so far (one glitch still required manual intervention: viewtopic.php?t=44082 ). So I am all set to hammer the system into the shape I want, install stuff etc. I do have an older MX install with a /home directory with settings for XFCE and some of the apps I will install just as I want them. Is is safe to simply copy those subdirectories over to /home on the 17.1install?

A related question.I did edit a few files in /etc and its subdirectories in the older install. Some changes I do remember, some I don't (I will take notes this time round). Is there a simple way to find out which files have been edited? (One thing I could do, before I start changing anything, is to set all files in /etc to the same date and time... so any changed file will have a different timestamp. Is that feasible? Or perhaps there is a much better way to achieve that?)

antiX-Dave
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#2 Post by antiX-Dave » Sun May 06, 2018 7:44 am

If I remember correctly there is a way to compare the file with what would have came in the original deb package. I think this is done via checksum and is utilized to detect "compromised" files in a security breach. I am not sure on how this is done anymore but you should be able to use the same method to find which files you would have modified. I am not sure it will work to find any newly made files though.

Edit the program name is debsums I think.
Last edited by antiX-Dave on Sun May 06, 2018 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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richb
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#3 Post by richb » Sun May 06, 2018 8:37 am

Take a look at aptik. It may serve some of your needs. You can ignore the installation instructions on the page link. It is in our default repos.

https://www.tecmint.com/aptik-a-tool-to ... in-ubuntu/
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thomasl
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#4 Post by thomasl » Sat May 12, 2018 9:27 am

Thanks, guys, for the hints. In the end I did a full re-install for the system and most apps. When I was certain that all configuration options were indeed stored in a single directory I copied that directory to the new home but that was the exception. I did make notes this time round so next time (when the MX base is upgraded to Buster?) it shouldn't be that much of a problem, I hope. (A really good feature of many newer Windows apps is that they run fully self-contained in a user-defined folder... copy that folder and you have copied the whole app and its configuration. This is not the way it's done in Linux and that's fair enough... but it made a new Windows install relatively painless.)

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chrispop99
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#5 Post by chrispop99 » Sat May 12, 2018 9:34 am

thomasl wrote:TA really good feature of many newer Windows apps is that they run fully self-contained in a user-defined folder... copy that folder and you have copied the whole app and its configuration.
A number of Linux apps are available in one form or another in exactly the way you mention. One such method is called AppImages:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AppImage

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thomasl
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#6 Post by thomasl » Sun May 13, 2018 10:07 am

Hm... from my limited understanding AppImages and similar approaches are certainly solving one part of the Portable-App problem... the app and its dependent files are self-contained in one file. However, the second part, ie storing all configuration and possible also other data within the app's directory, is not done, if I am not mistaken. So it is halfway there but it's not yet fully portable.

There is also the problem that these image files seem to be rather big and unwieldy (though perhaps not such a problem once we all have 3, 4 or 8 TB drives...). Plus the potential pitfall of out-dated libraries... There's just no perfect solution for that.

sunrat
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Re: Install MX17.1 and salvage "old" /home directory

#7 Post by sunrat » Sun May 13, 2018 9:58 pm

thomasl wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:07 am
Plus the potential pitfall of out-dated libraries... There's just no perfect solution for that.
And the potential for malware as found in Ubuntu Snaps.

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