I messed up my Ubuntu install last night by wrongly deleting a package that was essential for network access.
Fortunately, I had a spare FAT32 partition I had created for sharing files between Windows and Linux, so I made a tarball of my home directory and saved it to that partition. I also rebooted into Windows and used cygwin to verify the tar file was readable.
I then fired up a Kubuntu 9.04 install. Usually when I do an install I format the root partition (“/”) but I decided to leave it as it was. I also thought of saving the files to a flash drive, but I have had such good luck that I decided to go ahead.
Good thing I did. I noticed during the install there was a message “copying changed files” or similar language.
When I booted up the machine there was my home directory!
All I had lost were the packages that I had installed. I’ve already recovered the ones I need. I know I need them when I type a command and there is no executable. A quick apt-get fixes that.
Good work — as always — Ubuntu team. Keep up the good work.
This is yet another reminder why one should run Linux instead of Windows. The Linux folks know what they are doing. With Microsoft you never know. (And if they do know then they won’t tell you.)