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I'm going to install Windows 7 RC soon and want to save all (or at least almost all) of my settings that I have in Ubuntu 9.04. How can I do this?

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Is your title correct? Do you mean "moving from Ubunto 9.04 to Windows 7 RC"? – Eddie May 5 '09 at 20:26
No I have ubuntu 9.04 installed right now and when I install Windows 7 RC then I will have to reformat my whole HD. – Lucas McCoy May 5 '09 at 20:34
Please edit your title, it's currently incorrect and thus people won't be able to search for it. – Adam Gibbins May 5 '09 at 20:42
Sorry I'm never good at making titles. – Lucas McCoy May 5 '09 at 20:55
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Ok this really depends what you use your machine for.

If it's just a desktop machine then backing up your home directory /home/username will be enough.

This will make sure you keep all of your documents, music, application settings, chosen theme and the like.

If you've been been installing services list apache, mail servers etc then I would advise also taking a backup of /etc also and cherry pick stuff to restore when you re-install. It's generally fairly obvious where things live (apache config lives in /etc/apache2, mysql config in /etc/mysql etc...)

Another thing you might want to do is to create a list of all the packages you have installed.

To do this do the following:

dpkg --get-selections > package_list.txt

Backup package_list.txt Then when you are ready to put ubuntu back on install as normal and do the following:

dpkg --set-selections < package_list.txt

apt-get dselect-upgrade

It will then go off an re-install everything you had on before.

Hope that helps.

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As an addendum to this I would also save /etc/ in case there are any application configurations you need to save. Of course, restore with care as version changes may invalidate the files. – Nick Devereaux May 6 '09 at 2:31

Copy your entire home directory (~/) and /etc. All settings should be in those two folders.

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Most settings should be in those two folders. Bind, for example, has part of its configuration in /var/named/. If you have Apache HTTPD running, your web pages are stored under /var/www/. – Eddie May 5 '09 at 21:13
Also, backup '/var' . I contains mail spools, crontabs, web server hosts, database storage binaries (ideally you should dump these these in case of database software version changes) and some other stuff – sirlark Mar 5 '12 at 14:41

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