HOWTO Upgrade From Ubuntu Hoary to Ubuntu Breezy

1. Open a terminal window

2. sudo su

3. cd /

4. tar cvpzf homebackup.tgz /home --exclude=/home/porn (Backup the home directory, but not the dirty pictures)

5. tar cvpf pornbackup.tar /home/porn (Backup dirty pics and movies using no compression--it's faster, and you can save them to "the other disk")

6. tar cvpzf etcbackup.tgz /etc (Backup this directory filled with things you may have tweaked and forgotten about, keep handy in case something doesn't work right)

7. Burn the above three files to CD or find some other way to save them.

8. Insert Breezy CD and reboot.

9. Partition hard drive to taste. This time, put /home on its own partition so you can skip the above steps next time you upgrade. Applaud your foresight, while conveniently ignoring your lack thereof when you first set up Ubuntu four months earlier.

10. Go for coffee.

11. Answer a few questions.

12. Remove CD, reboot, let computer find updates.

13. Fire up browser, go here, read carefully, and download Automatix.
Edited 2005/12/07: Automatix is no longer supported by its creator, though it is still available for download at the above link and may be picked up again in the future. Should the most recent version (3.4.8) disappear from that location, ask me for a copy.
There is a forked version of Automatix called EasyBreezy available at this location. I haven't used it and can't vouch for it, but it may be a viable alternative.

Edited 2006/01/29: I can no longer recommend using Automatix. There may be security issues, which the author refuses to address. Do not use Automatix without a full understanding of the issues involved. I have struck through the references to this program.
14. Run Automatix, which will automatically reinstall 90% of the things you used every day but forgot how you installed them in the first place. Be sure to check Install Opera.

15. Untar homebackup.tgz and pornbackup.tar into a temp directory and copy /temp/home/yourname/.opera/ to your /home/ directory, thus restoring your all-important Opera settings, bookmarks, e-mail addresses and messages. Now do the same for your dirty pictures.

16. Copy over any other directories and files that are important to you, and hang on to the rest. You'll be glad when, three months later, you need that my_resume_2005-10.doc file.

17. Don't do anything with etcbackup.tgz, just keep it around in case you need something from it.

18. Light a cigar and strut around the room while sneering a little. You've just upgraded your operating system.

(Note: If you don't have dirty pictures, steps 4, 5, and 15 will still be useful for backing up your Photoshop portfolio. But you do, don't you? And you backed them up, too, didn't you? You dog.)
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