Reinstalling Linux

Reinstalling Linux

Post by Alan Morg » Wed, 05 May 1999 04:00:00

I'm wondering if anyone has any opinions about the best way to
upgrade a Linux system.  Up until now I've just been taking the
latest (Slackware) CD's and installing them on top of whatever
I had before.  I haven't noticed any real problems but I can't
help wondering if life would be better if blew away the root
partition and reinstalled from scratch (after backing everything
up and verifying the backups, etc.).  Any thoughts?  What about
if I decide to move to RedHat (since that seems to be the
installation of choice these days)?  Am I likely to have problems
installing on top of a Slackware installation as opposed to a fresh



Reinstalling Linux

Post by Jeff Monk » Thu, 06 May 1999 04:00:00

Quote:> What about if I decide to move to RedHat (since that seems to be the
> installation of choice these days)?  Am I likely to have problems
> installing on top of a Slackware installation as opposed to a fresh
> partition?

This probably will be ugly.  If you're switching distributions, I would
recommend starting fresh.  Upgrading different versions of the same distro
should be okay, but installing RH on top of Slackware without formatting the
drive just seems like a bad idea.  I don't know of any specific reasons not to
do it, but I suspect you'd have all sorts of conflicting files laying about.
At the very least, there would probably be some old Slackware files left
laying around wasting space.


1. How do I reinstall Linux to a new file system from a running Linux system?

I already have Linux up and running on /dev/hda4.  My swap is /dev/hda3 and
previously I had Windows NT server on /dev/hda2.  /dev/hda1 is my OS2 boot
loader.  So I love Linux, it does everything (and better) then NT server did
(nanny nanny poo poo Billy boy) so I nuked the NT server partition and made
another ext2 Linux partition on /hda2.  I would like to be able to make /hda2
my new Linux system and use /hda4 for user files, games, etc. (non Linux
system stuff).  Right now, /hda2 is empty.  So, how do I get Linux over to

I looked into cp, but the problem is that it doesn't seem to copy files that
have hard/symbolic links to them properly.  At least it didn't seem to work
when I tried to.  Also, it barfs when trying to copy /dev over and I assume it
probably will have a heart attack with /proc.  Anyway, I thought I could
simply copy all the Linux system directories over to  /hda2, reconfigure lilo
to point to it, and then boot.  Doesn't look like I can easily do this.  
Another option I was thinking about, is doing a network install if this is
possible?  I currently have Linux setup with an ISDN high speed Internet
connection (using pppd).  My flavour of Linus is Red Hat 5.2 using kernel
2.1.130 (needed some support in this kernel not available 2.0.36).  Is there a
way I can run the same Red Hat install program that I originally did and ftp
all the files from sunsite over to /hda2 from my running system? I can't
reboot from the floppy install disks to do this, because the ISDN support
isn't there unless my current Linux system is running (I originally did this
by installing the ISDN in a Windoze machine and using ftp through a proxy, but
I don't want to disconnect the device and do this again).

There has to be an easier way?  

Also, I use partition magic (installed in /dev/hdb1 - second IDE drive) to set
this stuff up originally.  It works great and allows me to boot any OS.  It
also allows me to resize partitions - safely.  Is there any advantage to
having my swap partition as /hda3, or should I try to move it physically to
some other part of the disk? ie: move /hda4 to where /hda3 is and
visa-versa putting the swap partition at the end of the disk
partition space. Probably, I should just leave it as it is...


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