Install leaving old 'Home' intact

Hi!,I am in the process of migration from Linux Mint to Garuda KDE Dragonized.
As I have a huge Home partition (not directory) I would like to leave that untouched and install Garuda without formatting the home partition. That is usually possible. But I have been reading that you are using a different file system, mine is EXT4. Will this interfere?
Would you suggest something else? Like doing a complete clean install and then restoring only the home partiition with Timeshift?
There are data of many years and activities involved. So I am a bit anxious about losing them.
Thanks in advance.

TL;DR: as long as you leave the ext4 alone there will be no sorrow.

First a little context.
Garuda uses btrfs, which has the concept of subvolumes (half way between a directory and a partition, so to speak). One of those will be @home (the new one made by the installer, not your existing one).

So, just make sure you have enough space (either free space or an existing partition with nothing you care about, e.g. the old root partition with Mint) and install Garuda there.
Of course, double check in the installer that you are not touching the existing home in any way.
Now, technically, the one in ext4 isn't a home anymore, but everything is still there.
You can simply mount it and access your files. Garuda's partition will be btrfs, your data still ext4.

Or, you could merge one into the other (both ways can make sense, choose what is best for you).
If you'd like your home to be the ext4 partition, after copying over the dotfiles (making sure not to clobber anything you'd like to preserve) switch your home in /etc/fstab (that is, comment out the line with /home btrfs subvol=/@home, and mount the ext4 as /home).

In my case, I had the very same situation and it worked without problems.
A backup is always advisable though.

edit: last but not least, welcome aboard.


Thanks for your quick response. I did as instructed and it worked. I can see my old /home and Garuda even added some apps which it found there.
The explanation about volumes is too high for me, but I can live with the situation.
Talking about apps: Is there no app-store /software center in Garuda, and i have to install all my missing apps via command line?
Thx again

@meanruse is right, it should be fine as long as you don't choose to nuke and pave in the installer. Choose replace partition or manual partition and you should be fine. No problem mixing Btrfs and ext4 either.

A very easy way to set up a /home directory on a separate partition is to use symlinks. A lot of us use a setup like this for various reasons. You can either symlink the whole home directory, or perhaps better would be to have a few symlinks for just the resources you want saved on the other disk (ln -s /path/to/disk/Documents, ln -s /path/to/disk/Pictures, etc).

If the files are important as you mentioned, you should make a backup to a separate disk before you begin.


As long as you do updates from the command line with garuda-update, you may want to install some interactive package manager frontend to help with searching. Just don't use it to update (some can be configured to run Garuda's updater though).

My choice is pacseek which runs in the terminal with a text mode user interface, or seeing you posted under KDE octopi which is graphical (maybe it's already installed, I don't know).
There's a thread going on about this topic, Recommended Package Manager for Garuda .
(P.S. technically speaking, those are not package managers proper, there is only one package manager and it's pacman).

Did I say use garuda-update? Well I say it again, it takes care of housekeeping tasks that are easy to forget or do wrong, and can even fix a messed up system (within limits).


"Next!" (emphatically friendly): "to the crucifixion?" - "yes" - "through the door, down the corridor.... each only one cross!

Uppss, better deal with only one "problem" per thread. Facilitates the search in the forum :slight_smile:


Sorry 'bout that - tut mir leid!

This topic was automatically closed 2 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.