[clug] Reinstall and reformat?

Michael James Michael.James at csiro.au
Sun Mar 21 23:21:16 GMT 2004

On Friday 19 March 2004 08:17, james canberra wrote:
> When I install a new version of Mandrake I typically reformat my / partition 
> on hda1 and leave hda5 containing /home alone. I typically want to do a 
> "clean install" not an upgrade. This is for home use.
> Is there any need to actually reformat the partiitions? A friend has about 6 
> partitions (/usr, /home, /boot, /var, /usr/local and something else I 
> forget) and asked me which ones he needs to reformat.
> I told him I think he doesn't actually need to reformat any of them, but I'd 
> ask the list for confirmation.

To all but Debian users upgrading is a real headach.
I'm (probably wrongly) suspicious of upgrades,
 (leaves cruft, puts system into an even more unknown state)
 so I always install into fresh system partitions.

My partitioning looks like this:

/dev/hda1		/boot
/dev/hda2		/altOS/boot
/dev/hda3		extended
/dev/hda5		/
/dev/hda6		/altOS
/dev/hda7		swap
/dev/hda8		/home

Home never gets reformatted, and I alternate;
 with the altOS pair of partitions becoming the new active system.

This gives me a backout if I need to reboot the old system,
 and leaves it mounted on /altOS/ for me to refer to when configuring the new.

I tend to run dirdiff between /altOS/etc/ and /etc/
 to be sure I have all the old configuration integrated into the new.

Works fairly well and means I know
 what configuration my servers have over a base install
 but as a twice yearly chore it is still a pain.


Michael James                         michael.james at csiro.au
System Administrator                    voice:  02 6246 5040
CSIRO Bioinformatics Facility             fax:  02 6246 5166

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