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Re: Re-installing FC5

Timothy Murphy writes:
: Dean S. Messing wrote:
: > : How do you know which files in /etc to copy to your new system?
: > 
: <snip>
: > cp -p system_file system_file_tag
: > 
: > where "tag" is a tag identifying the OS.  For FC5 I use (surprise)
: > "FC5".  Then when I am about to do a fresh install of the next rev I
: > issue as root:
: > 
: > # /etc/cron.daily/mlocate.cron
: > # locate '_FC5' | grep '_FC5$'
: > 
: > The result on my freshly installed three week old FC5 machine gives:
: > 
: >   /boot/grub/grub.conf_FC5
: >   /etc/fstab_FC5
: >   /etc/group_FC5
: >   /etc/inittab_FC5
: <snip>
: > which are files I've modified already.
: But what about files that are changed by applications,
: eg CUPS, httpd, xorg.conf, mysql?
: Of course one can go through all the initializations again.
: But it seems to me to mean that one is taking quite a lot more time
: to install afresh than to upgrade.

About 10 minutes after I sent this yesterday, I wondered
if you would ask this question.  I should have mentioned
that I'm a "commandline kinda guy".  I hardly  use configuration GUIs
(and I live in emacs 95% of the time, including now as I type this :-).

If one does their system configurations with GUIs then my trick will
be worthless.

: I do see the advantages of a fresh install;

As for installing vs. upgrading, I've been badly burned twice in the
past (on Mandrake systems) and so I always do a fresh install.  The
main advantage for me is that I am not left wondering if the bug I'm
seeing is due to a fouled upgrade or a true system bug.

That assurance is worth its weight in gold to me.  And since I have a
nearly complete record of the changes I made on the previous system (I
always forget something :-), I can just go down the list and make the
same changes (or not) as I wish.

I might also mention that I have lots and lots of disk on my machine.
So I have room to store a previous installation in a single partition
indefinately.  I usually keep the previous install around (by copying
/, /usr, /var, and /tmp to a single bootable partition at the end of
one of my disks) for at least 4 months until I'm sure I have
everything.  And (of course) I have a backup of these directies on 4mm
tape or DVD before I blitz them.

: but there are a several advantages in the opposite direction too.

I don't know of any, other than speed, but ...

: I don't think anyone should say one or the other is "better".

I completely agree---unless an upgrade is a known show-stopper as it
was on several Mandrake releases.


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