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Migrating from LMDE 2 MATE to Sparky "rolling" 5.5 MATE -- any suggestions?

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Bill Statler:
Hello, all!  Sparky newbie here -- I'm downloading right now.

I'm currently running LMDE 2 (Linux Mint Debian Edition), which is based on Debian Jessie, and MATE 1.18.0.  This will be end-of-life in a few months, and there is no convenient upgrade path to LMDE 3 + MATE, so it's a good time for me to consider switching to Sparky.

Do you have any suggestions to make this switch relatively painless?

For example, is there any chance I will be able to preserve software settings (LibreOffice, Evolution, browsers, etc)?  What about file ownership and permissions?  User names?

I currently have separate partitions for:

* /
* /boot/efi
* /home
* swapand plenty of free disk space.

I've read a bunch of material on the wiki and the forum, so I understand the basics of how to install Sparky.  I'm just wondering if there are specific things I should do (or NOT do!) to make the migration easier.

Thanks!

paxmark1:
It is your machine.  All choices are yours.

  Wow-  LMDE2 is based on Jessie, that is ancient. 

One possible path to investigate would be to go from LMDE to Debian - possibly by changing apt/sources.  ONLY do this if others have been successful.  Check the Debian forums.  Then you could change your source list from jessie to stretch to buster   Then you could add sparky repositories.  BUT probably not.   Stretch is about to enter freeze for the transition to Buster, which is what Sparky5 is based on.There are numerous ways this could go bad.  Edit  "LMDE 2 has yet to migrate to Systemd."  No, do not do it this way.

Of course you would have made backups. 

Or another way would be to install Sparky making sure to not format /home.  Since you are not changing your DE the previous ".dot" files hopefully will not cause conflicts. 

Or to do more work but eliminate possible problems - You can back your dot files, remove them from /home.  Install not formatting home and then add back the customizations piece by piece.  I did that in 2008 going from Ubuntu to Debian KDE. 

In a vm (virtualbox) I just started up a debian testing mate, much nicer than the one at work. 

Another option would be to get the non-free netinstall Buster Alpha3 (keeps your wireless up) install debian testing and then add the sparky repositories.  In tasksel untick the DebianDesktop and tick the Mate button and tick the ssh server options. Then add the Sparky repositories under /etc/apt/sourcelists.d/

Big changes.  Down the road you will be happy not being in Jessie. 


edit  you can always post in the Debian forum and say that you want to go from LMDE2 to Debian Buster and see what others might say.  Some flaming because "the forum is only for stable - not testing" but HOAS and othes might give some good advice with more knowledge than me. 
peace out

hedon:
I mostly agree with Paxmark, but if you want "quick & painless", my OPINION is to forget about bringing LMDE current through repo changes.  It's almost guaranteed to induce breakage.  Your partition scheme is setup nicely, so I'd say take a backup of your /home directory and just install Sparky over LMDE, but keeping your same mount points.  And I agree with Pax about the hidden "dot" config files.  I think I'd mount the home directory to "/home" but go ahead and format, effecitvely wiping all old data.

With a fresh Sparky installation, copy your data over...Docs, Music, Vids, etc...  Then see what your config/preferences look like.  If you have customized configs, start pulling them over from the backups, one by one, until you're satisfied.

It SOUNDS like a lot of work, but I honestly and truly believe this is the path of least resistance for you.

Bill Statler:
Thanks -- lots of good options to consider.  I'll do some research.


--- Quote from: hedon on October 15, 2018, 03:33:29 am ---With a fresh Sparky installation, copy your data over...

It SOUNDS like a lot of work, but I honestly and truly believe this is the path of least resistance for you.

--- End quote ---

I'll probably end up doing it that way... but I'll probably waste a lot of time trying it other ways first. 8)

I don't mind the extra work on my own computer.  But I'll be doing the same upgrade on my wife's computer, so with luck I'll find a method that doesn't cause her too much inconvenience.


--- Quote from: paxmark1 on October 14, 2018, 11:16:21 pm ---Of course you would have made backups.

--- End quote ---

I made backups onto three separate devices today, before I even risked booting from the Sparky DVD. ;D

hedon:

--- Quote from: Bill Statler on October 15, 2018, 05:02:46 am ---Thanks -- lots of good options to consider.  I'll do some research.

I'll probably end up doing it that way... but I'll probably waste a lot of time trying it other ways first. 8)

I don't mind the extra work on my own computer.  But I'll be doing the same upgrade on my wife's computer, so with luck I'll find a method that doesn't cause her too much inconvenience.

I made backups onto three separate devices today, before I even risked booting from the Sparky DVD. ;D

--- End quote ---

You're my kind of adventurer!  With the safety net (backups) in place, working on new tricks/skills becomes fairly risk-free, with everything but your time.  And is time ever TRULY wasted if you learned something in the process?  "Experience is what you get when you don't get what you came for".

Sounds like you have your bases covered and I'm betting you'll be just fine!  Good luck!   8)

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