serverstorm — 2012-07-05T12:20:11-04:00 — #1
Just a quick post to relay a recent experience that was great when switching distributions in Linux.
I had a box running opensuse 11.4. I had configured this with a 4g swap, 40g OS (/), and a 56g home partitions.
Normally when installing a fresh distro the defaults will want to format all partitions and put them all within the OS partitions so you typically have 2 partitions. Obviously I created three partitions, this was important as my customized applications, vpn configurations, mail, internet apps, browsers ... are put into hidden folders in the home folder.
I wanted to install Linux Mint Cinnamon on this same box, but did not want to loose my browser, mail, development tools, ftp connections ect. configurations.
I put in the 64bit Linux Mint Live disc and booted it from DVD. I did the 'Install From Live' option and went through the typical first steps of setting up a new install. The important step came when the 'format partitions' option came. It had found that there was already one swap and two ext4 (OS and Home) partitions but it (by default) had selected each of these to format. I overrode these and set my own Swap and told it just to Mount the /HOME partition. I made sure to confirm that it was only mounting and not re-formatting the /HOME in the confirmation screen that shows what your about to do. The rest of the install was normal.
Upon first reboot, it finished its auto configuration and then asked for a user to be setup. This is important - I used the same username and password that it had in the previous distro install.
It continued and booted into my new profile but used the configurations of any of the 'default distro applications' that previously where created using OpenSuse 11.4. I had to install filezilla, and thunderbird (I was careful to rename the hidden .filezilla and the .thunderbird folders to oldxxxx). Once these were installed I deleted the new .filezilla and .thunderbird folders and renamed my _oldxxx accourdingly; both programs worked perfectly with all ftp/ssh configurations in Filezilla and all mail accounts in thunderbird.
I had to do very little tweaking and my profile and all the time that I had spent to get applicaitons working and looking like I wanted was preserved, plus all my documents, music ... where ready to go.
It was an excellent experience. I hope this helps you plan your next Linux install
shyflower — 2012-07-16T18:25:18-04:00 — #2
So glad to have found this. I have been considering migrating from Ubuntu Linux (Natty) to Mint and I am full of questions for you!
Were you running a Gnome desktop or KDE on your opensuse distro?
What made you decide to switch distros? I see opensuse has recently come out with a new one.
Did you go to Mint 13 (Maya) or 12 (Lisa)?
Why did you choose the cinnamon desktop in preference to the "mate"?
Were you able to successfully install the programs that you use most (those not already on the distro)?
serverstorm — 2012-07-16T19:42:29-04:00 — #3
Please see my answers below your questions
I like to follow advances in the distros and run the Live CD's with each major release. KDE had for a while been to poor cousin to GNOME; however with the latest version of KDE I believe that its' functionality has surged ahead of the current GNOME. I wanted to get back to KDE where there is less hidden under the hood than GNOME and X-windows like Ubuntu's Unity, which I really don't like.
I was running OpenSuse 11.4 GNOME.
When I did the switch to Mint I choose the GNOME; however after running Mint I felt the GNOME methodology was a little too limiting and so I decided to switch to OpenSuse 12.1 KDE. I chose OpenSuse as I wanted to integrate it into a network domain controller and OpenSuse is bar far the most polished when it comes to business network requirements and functionality. The other main factor is that on my particular computer hardware, Mint 64 ran far more heavy than my OpenSuse 11.4 had and I figure as the switch went so smoothly form OpenSuse 11.4 to Mint that a switch from Mint to OpenSuse 12.1 should go just as smoothly - I proved to be true.
When I had switched to Mint it was Maya (Mint 13). The machine I was doing this to had only 2 Gigs of RAM, and looking at the System Monitor it chewed most of that up without programs running which is the cause of the slowness. When I switched to OpenSuse 12.1 I used only slightly more RAM than 11.4 did but was nicer looking, better Desktop effects (eye candy) and was VERY stable with my VPN's, Java Tools, Blender (3d Modeling) and web browsers.
I choose the cinnamon desktop because I liked the look of it, but not for a technical reason.
I had no problem installing the programs that I used the most that are not installed in the default distro. I first installed the programs, ran them once and then replaced the hidden .xxx folder with the .old_xxx folder. When I ran them again, all my settings were intact. The only time this may not work is when a program only will run under GNOME or KDE and you try to install it on the opposing distro type; however this is a rarity.
The process that I described in the 1st post will work on almost any Distro and for GNOME to KDE or vice-versa. The main thing is that you need to ensure that your new user (installed with whatever distro you are switching to) is exactly the same username and password that was used on your previous Distro.
Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any other question that can help you in your pursuit of your distro change
shyflower — 2012-07-18T11:53:09-04:00 — #4
@ServerStorm ; Okay, I've made the switch. Right now it's set up on a dual boot. Most things have migrated more easily than I expected, but I am sort of stumped with chromium and thunderbird. Which folders do I move? Here's the answer to the where is question for chromium
$ whereis chromium-browser
chromium-browser: /usr/bin/chromium-browser /etc/chromium-browser /usr/lib/chromium-browser /usr/bin/X11/chromium-browser /usr/share/man/man1/chromium-browser.1.gz
I think that I should only have to move the one(s) that contain settings but am unsure of which one(s) they are. This is mostly the same answer I get from the whereis question for t-bird, except of course, for the name.
By the way, the slick thing with dual boot is that I just have to use the extra pane, access the Ubuntu partition, copy what I need and paste it into the Mint folder.
serverstorm — 2012-07-18T12:47:25-04:00 — #5
Great job and nice to have the dual boot, I have one machine setup this way and really like it.
For thunderbird you need to move the .thunderbird folder in its' entirety. This will copy your accounts/settings/mail/feeds.
in your old home folder you need to copy the .config hidden file or at least the chromium file that is contained within it.
Your thought process is exactly right, the chromium located in the .config hidden folder is this directory that matches your thinking
Very sweet and yummy
shyflower — 2012-07-18T19:32:54-04:00 — #6
@ServerStorm ; I am done! And everything you suggested worked like a charm. Thank you so much!
This was the easiest migration I have ever done! (It was my second. :lol: ) I only need to delete the Ubuntu partition (I'll wait a day or two though) and grow my Mint partition to full size again.
serverstorm — 2012-07-18T20:23:03-04:00 — #7
Fantastic @Shyflower; ! It is nice when things go smoothly!
I hope others - by way of your open questions and accounts of your processes - will learn that working with and updating Linux can be a great thing. Developers should not only think about Windows or Mac when doing their craft; Linux is a robust, secure, modern, beautiful, and high performance OS with great development tools for free
Again so glad this worked for you!
shyflower — 2012-07-18T21:47:14-04:00 — #8
I thought I would die when Microsoft stopped supporting XP, but it's actually the one thing I have to thank them for. Now that I have Linux, I know I will never go back to Windows even if it was free. I love the freedom of doing things my way and the ability to understand what's behind the OS. The more I use it, the more I like it. Updates are quick and clean (at least they were on Ubuntu, we'll have to see about Mint) and they don't leave any clutter behind them. The utilities are absolutely fabulous. I guess I could be a walking commercial for Linux, but the would mean I'd have to get up from my chair.
So far, Mint Maya isn't all that much different from Ubuntu except for the Gnome main menu (and if I didn't like it I could use the Mate Menu). What I really like is the long-term support for this distro. By the time they come out with a new long term OS, I will either be retired (ha!) or looking for a new computer. I'm hoping to buy my next machine with no OS installed so I can do a clean install from the bios, unless, of course computer manufacturers smarten up and start marketing them with a Linux OS. Here's my desktop.
serverstorm — 2012-07-19T08:10:50-04:00 — #9
Hey about 5 years ago I had a Windows XP machine for my wife and young kids. I would come home after a day of them using it and somehow my Son had done something to infect the computer; yes even with proper Anti-virus. I decided that I was going to try Linux as I heard that their architecture and security layers are far cleaner and that they are not a susceptible to viruses, so I setup Ubuntu and have not looked back since.
Sure I understand that I have to take security seriously as vulnerabilities are still found in Linux application code, but as you said they are patched quickly and cleanly. As Linux keeps all application resources with each application in a standalone folder, you can drag one program with all its setting to a friends or family members Linux computer and it is all set up for them; plus I as this model is distributed it is less vulnerable than the Windows registry approach.
Many people may not know that Mac X OS is actually been derived from FreeBSD, which is another distro of Linux; therefore Mac users have much the same experience as a Linux distro.
Long term published and predictable support is important for people and even moreso than companies. The I.T. division of my company had hundreds of customers that got screwed when Microsoft said they were going to keep XP supported then Windows 7 uptake was good so they fazed XP out; if these same businesses had been using OpenSuse they would have know they had 5 years and no surprises.
It is not too hard to reformat Windows installs and then boot an install DVD or USB to get the Linux on. I'm not sure that the vendors in North America will get on the Linux bandwagon? I guess DELL sells a few of their models with the Linux option? Or go to a local small business that builds computer, do a little research first on what components you want in the the computer and then pay them to build the box of your dreams.
Thanks for the screen shot... Wow that is a wind farm and a half... looks great. Here is my OpenSuse 12.1 look:
shyflower — 2012-07-19T12:06:08-04:00 — #10
Love the lime! Very cool background. Looks like Margarita time! :drinky: I like your transparent panel, too. Is that a part of the OS or is it something you did for yourself?
I remember all the security updates and such with Windows and I also remember the crashes. When I started out with W95, I used to think it was always something I did. That's probably why I thought that messing up my domain might break the Internet, because one wrong move in my OS messed up my whole computer. I learned to reformat a drive back in those early years. :eek: But worst for me, was the clutter that their updates leave behind. My first computer was just a 4 GB custom-made. The computer guy told me that I would probably never use it up. (Ed laughs at me because his first one was a 2k timex with no hard drive. The only way to save anything was on a cassette tape. His second one was a Commodore 64. If you wanted to save things you had to purchase the floppy disk add-on. The floppies were 8k. )
Linux is becoming more and more popular. One nice thing about it is that I don't have to come up with a big chunk of change to get a new distro. I can go donate a few bucks here and there to support my favorite programs and operating systems. I was surprised to see that many high-profile businesses and governments use LInux systems. I first read about it in the article, [50 Places Linux is Running You Might Not Expect and the ZD Net article, [URL="http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/who-uses-linux-and-open-source-in-business/7951"]Who Uses Linux and Open Source in Business](http://www.focus.com/fyi/50-places-linux-running-you-might-not-expect/). If it's good enough for the US Department of Defense, the Navy and the FAA, I guess it will do nicely for my purposes, too.
Additionally, some of the biggest players on the web use Linux... namely Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.com. Surprisingly, Cisco and IBM also use Linux distros. (Do you suppose IBM still holds a grudge? )
parkint — 2012-07-19T12:21:58-04:00 — #11
That was me too! Ed and I have a lot in common.
Having been a computer geek for [too] many years, I used a dual-boot Windows with Linux (several until I settled on Ubuntu) for many years. The past 18 months I have been a Macoid and loving it.
I never was a fanboy of either MS or Apple and steered away from the "religious arguments".
But, after using Mac, I am forced to work with Windows 7 in my full-time job. And I have been spouting more words I didn't even realize I knew with Windows' insistence on constantly "notifying" me; "Are you sure?", "Did you mean?", "This might not be good", "May I continue?". It is downright annoying.
Furthermore, I think the "protection" is self-defeating. There are so many times that the screen darkens and a dialog appears that you (as is human nature) fall into the habit of just clicking without paying attention.
Glad to hear of your positive experience, @ServerStorm;
Forgive me for my little rant.
serverstorm — 2012-07-19T12:54:19-04:00 — #12
Yes I try to have a party when I work on my computer, alas the methodicalness affects me and ruins it most times :rolleyes: The transparent panel is part of the OS (you can turn them on and off) also one of the desktop effects is showing in the second picture as the windows tile like that when cycling through ALT+TAB and give you a title for each window that comes to the forefront. This is the eyecandy that I referred to in an earlier post.
I used to work with floppy disks and then was very excited when the Mac classic has 2Mb of RAM. I used to create RAM disks of 1Mb to store persistent files while I worked. The graphic icons and screen where so great. I just so dates me, but I don't care it was a golden age for computing like the Wild West that is long since gone
I did not know that so many North American companies used Linux... Thanks for this info. I have several friends in Europe (Germany, The Netherlands, and France) their companies all use Linux and they and most of the people in their communities use it too.
I advocate it to people when they ask me. I have about 15 different families in my neighborhood who have switched over the last 3 years. Interestingly none of them have any desire to move to a different O.S.
Linux also speeds up those energy conserving Netbooks; my Daughters Compaq Netbook rips for hours.
shyflower — 2012-07-19T13:03:29-04:00 — #13
That's a cool animation, but I'm afraid this old girl (My computer, Gracie... not me!) couldn't handle it. She's getting to be a pre-teen, but she can still kick it. Ed bought it for me years ago for my birthday and it is the best computer I have ever had. At some point, I'm going to have to get a new one, but thanks to Linux, someday might still be 5 years into the future.
Yes... definitely spread the Linux love! :heart_smiley: I see more and more people coming out of the Linux closet these days and more and more threads that mention open source applications like Gimp, Inkscape, and Open (or Libre) Office.
serverstorm — 2012-07-19T13:11:48-04:00 — #14
Thanks ParkinT, glad also to hear that you are liking Mac.
This brings up another thought.... it is best not to become too focused on one particular OS. Windows 8 shows a lot of promise. Who knows what next Mac OS will emerge, especially since Jobs's leadership is gone. For those old enough to remember when Applie fired Jobs in the early 90's, look how terrible the company and their products became. A who knows if the OpenSource community will continue at its' torrid pace?
serverstorm — 2012-07-19T13:16:21-04:00 — #15
Yes I am one of these out-of-closeters
shyflower — 2012-07-19T13:24:01-04:00 — #16
At this point, with so many different distros, I don't think that the community will ever crumble completely. One thing that is disturbing is that Ubuntu (and maybe others) has added proprietary applications to its software manager in addition to their spendy magazine. I think it's very important to contribute to the distros that remain dedicated to the Free Software Foundation (FSD) and to support the FSD as well. Actually, that was one of the deciding factors when I went with Linux Mint. I found proprietray software's infiltration into Ubuntu a little disquieting.
serverstorm — 2012-07-19T13:33:32-04:00 — #17
Yes good call, I make contributions to the FSD. On the flip side I use OpenSuse which has had the threat and Air of propriety often over the last few years; however like I said, it is also the most advanced with business integration and is extremely stable, plus have worked hard recently to remove proprietary software so I was good with using them.
BTW the transparent windows and panels are part of the new KDE not just OpenSuse so if you install a KDE variant you should have access to these features but do need a decent video card and the correct graphic drivers (either NVidia or ATI).
shyflower — 2012-07-19T13:37:35-04:00 — #18
I had some KDE stuff on Ubuntu. I thought it was pretty gluttonous at chewing up the memory and this old girl is on the brink of Alzheimer's as it is.
parkint — 2012-07-19T23:05:14-04:00 — #19
I am old enough. And speaking of Linux, I am also old enough to remember when it first appeared. I have (on CD) a copy of Linux Slackware 1.0 with the bound paper manual !!!
Please don't misunderstand my recent enthusiasm for Mac as uninitiated fandom. I have been using Linux for quite a while. Professionally, I have used Solaris and HP-UX also.
Just like the days when I would build PCs (and I know, Steve, you are old enough to remember charting IRQs and setting dip switches for peripheral cards) the fun of tinkering has been replaced with practical use - as I grow older.
I had, for more years than I can count, a dual-boot machine running Windows (whatever was one step behind the current release - intentionally, one step behind) and Linux.
So I share your affection for Linux and agree it has only been growing in maturity and popularity. Sometimes, though, I miss the "old days" and Command Line. The pretty, GUI Linux distros all seem too flashy and "user friendly".
shyflower — 2012-07-19T23:08:25-04:00 — #20
Hey silly, you can boot from a terminal or use one (either as user or root) in Linux. Actually the more I use and understand the command line, the more I like it. I owe that to Linux, too. I was terrified of messing things up on Windows Command line and only ever used it as an entirely last resort.
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