View Full Version : [ubuntu] How can I backup my *old* /home directory?

October 2nd, 2011, 10:59 PM

My Ubuntu 10.10 is not working properly I need to reinstall it but although I had backups of all my documents data, like spreadsheets or text documents, I would like to keep all my settings and small programs I have in /home/vkthor.

This way I can install Ubuntu a new way, one partition for it and another for my *new* /home directory.

It should be easy. I thought I could copy my *old* /home/vkthor directory to an USB drive and after install copy it again to the new partition.

The problem is: I only can boot from an Ubuntu CD. It starts a new /home/ubuntu directory and when I try to copy /media/acdcab9b3....(File System)/home/vkthor to target drive (using Nautilus windows) it says that some files/directories can not be copied because I do not have rights to do it.
I have tried to input

sudo nautilus
in a console window but also did not worked.
How can I copy it using the command line?
I have found that

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo su give me the righs to do it, but if I try

root@ubuntu:/media/acdcab9b3....(File System)/home# cp vkthor/*.* /media/Ubuntu.bak/home/ I receive several messages «Omit directory 'vkthor/netbeans'» and so on and the copy is not performed. Several directories are missing in the target drive.
Can you please tell me what am I doing wrong? And how to round this?

Thank you.

PS. I am thinking about files and directories like a MS-DOS old user. It seems cp does not work exactly like MS-DOS copy command. Maybe this is my mistake.

The solution

ubuntu@ubuntu:$ sudo rsync -av /media/acdca9b3-38ff-4dd6-8209-49b4fb92e5c9/home/vkthor /media/ubuntu.bak
I have opened the file manager and browse through File system > acdca9b3-38ff-4dd6-8209-49b4fb92e5c9 > home. My Vkthor's home folder was there. Pressed CTRL L to see the path copied it to terminal console end ENTER.
As easy as that.
Hope this can help someone else.
Thank you all who helped me along this thread.

October 3rd, 2011, 02:22 AM
See if this (http://psychocats.s465.sureserver.com/ubuntu/backup) can be of any help to you.

October 3rd, 2011, 03:39 AM

I have tried to input

sudo nautilusin a console window but also did not worked.

gksu nautilus,

October 3rd, 2011, 08:41 AM
Hi Hakunka-Matata
Tanks for your answer, but it still does not work.

I have got this error:

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ gksu nautilus
Initializing nautilus-gdu extension

** (nautilus:4672): WARNING **: Failed to get the current CK session: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.ConsoleKit.Manager.Gen eralError: Unable to lookup session information for process '4672'

(nautilus:4672): GConf-CRITICAL **: gconf_value_free: assertion `value != NULL' failed
Nautilus-Share-Message: Called "net usershare info" but it failed: 'net usershare' devolveu o erro 255: net usershare: cannot open usershare directory /var/lib/samba/usershares. Error Ficheiro ou directoria inexistente
Please ask your system administrator to enable user sharing.

(nautilus:4672): GConf-CRITICAL **: gconf_value_free: assertion `value != NULL' failed

The last line repeats itself each time I try to use any windows operation.

I am booting from Ubuntu Live CD, so, what am I doing wrong?

October 3rd, 2011, 07:04 PM
(nautilus:4672): GConf-CRITICAL **: gconf_value_free: assertion `value != NULL' failed (http://ubuntuforums.org/%28nautilus:4672%29:%20GConf-CRITICAL%20**:%20gconf_value_free:%20assertion%20% 60value%20%21=%20NULL%27%20failed)

That link references a bug report with symptoms that sound a lot like yours, it's on Ubuntu 10.10 da-de-da.............
If you have a CD with a different Release, say 10.04 it might prove interesting.....

What's wrong with your installation?, maybe it could be fixed - cleaned up?

das@160GB:~$ sudo cp -r Downloads/* /media/dougbackuptestthat command works fine for me......... But I'm not running in "liveCD" mode,,

October 4th, 2011, 05:49 PM
See if this (http://psychocats.s465.sureserver.com/ubuntu/backup) can be of any help to you.

Hi zvacet.
Thanks for your help.
I never used rsync before. I have looked for a linux backup solution and after all I used Sync Back through Wine. I could backup files and directories but not the system folders like what happens in Windows.
But after reading that, it was very easy to backup my /home directory.

I hope that now I can use it to recover my all my data after reinstall Ubuntu that crashed some time ago.

Best regards.

October 4th, 2011, 06:10 PM
(snip) it's on Ubuntu 10.10 da-de-da.............
If you have a CD with a different Release, say 10.04 it might prove interesting..... (snip)

Hi again Hakunka-Matata.
Well, it was the *only* CD I had.
I have tried to install 10.10 after making new formated partitions and restore my *old* /home/vkthor directory to one of them.
It seemed the install was working fine but I have got an endless loop at login screen. I have typed my password (with no errors) and Ubuntu asked for it again and again and again...
After deleting (and formating) my data partition (the /home/vkthor) the install worked fine.
I have updated to the new 11.04. May be it works better. I will try to recover my old /home now.
Wish me luck.
Best regards.

October 5th, 2011, 07:21 PM
I was lucky.

I have used rsync to backup my SinceIntrepidIbex original /home/vkthor folder
I have used GParted to «kill» Microsoft Windows XP partition (I did not use it since my first steps with Ubuntu), and organize my HD for a fresh Ubuntu install: 15Gb for Ubuntu, 2Gb for Linux-swap and all the rest of space to the new /home/vkthor
After successful partitioning I have restored my backup /home/vkthor to the new partition I have also used rsync to do it. All my data was well recovered.
Then I tried to install Ubuntu 10.10 from the liveCD I had telling it to use the /home/vkthor as new /home directory. It did not worked well. I do not know why but I could not bypass the login window. Maybe it was an install bug. Do not know.
Trying to go on I have erased all the content of the /home/vkthor folder. No problem. I had a backup. Then the new install worked fine. I used it to upgrade online to the new 11.04 Ubuntu
I thought I had lost all the chances of recovering all my programs data and settings I have backup. I only had Firefox, LibreOffice and a few new programs. Not my desktop and all the stuff I was collecting since Intrepid Ibex. I did not give up. What if I try to restore the /home/vkthor data now? I thought.
Well, it worked! The Firefox has begun to update my extensions. My desktop returned, also my themes and icons. Uau! I only have to download and install all my programs. My data and settings are there.

It was NOT the perfect way, I know, but worked and I could change an unknown «bad» first install for a new one the way it must be. Ubuntu in a partition, /home in another. And no data loosing.

If you are reading this, remember: never give up and ALWAYS have a backup of your data. It is not the question IF you will loose your data, but WHEN you will.

Best regards.