Eric H. Johnson on 7 May 2013 15:48:43 -0700

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] Moving user accounts


I was considering moving over to Mint but was sure there were going to be global settings, pointers, etc. that were not going to match up after just doing a raw copy, and I really do not want to invest a whole lot of time into it.

I dislike Unity as much as anyone and recognize there are going to be a lot of complaints, but don't see much choice short of going to a different distro. 

At this point I could easily roll back to 12.04, but figured I would upgrade to 14.04 when it is available and leave it there until the next time the computer needs to be replaced.


JP Vossen <> wrote:

>> Date: Tue, 7 May 2013 15:03:06 -0400
>> From: "Eric H. Johnson"<>
>> I set up an Ubuntu computer for a senior center some years back and that
>> computer is now long overdue for an upgrade. The existing computer is
>> running Ubuntu 10.04 and has something the high side of 20 user accounts,
>> although about half are probably dormant. I would like to move those
>> accounts and associated data to a new computer running Ubuntu 13.04. The
>> users as a rule do not store very much  on the computer since they use it
>> primarily for browsing the web and email.
>> What is the easiest way to migrate these accounts to the new computer. Is
>> there a wizard? The only thing I found seemed like it was no longer being
>> maintained. As a rule, I do not know the passwords for the individual
>> accounts. Can I just copy the home folder, etc/passwd, etc/shadow, etc. or
>> will I run into problems if I do not regenerate the uids and gids.
>In general I agree with all the previous comments, but there is 
>something I haven't seen addressed yet.  Since you said Ubuntu 13.04, a 
>bunch of the .dotfiles & .dirs are going to be obsolete.  What I am 
>*not* sure of is how much that matters, if at all.  In other words, 
>there is going to be a bunch of Gnome2 cruft in there that Unity won't 
>need or want or maybe like.  I'm not clear how much of that is migrated 
>in any way when you do an in-place upgrade, so again I may be worried 
>about nothing.
>Also, why the not-supported-very-long 13.04 (EoL 2014-01!) instead of 
>12.04 LTS (EoL 2017-04)?
>And you understand that Unity may make everyone's head hurt?  There are 
>other options that will look more like Ubuntu 10.04, though for your 
>use-case Unity may well be the better/simpler/friendlier option 
>long-term.  (We run all 12.04 LTS with a mix of Unity and Cinnamon.)
>That said, I'd probably do something like:
>tar czf /tmp/data.tgz /etc/passwd /etc/shadow /home
>scp /tmp/data.tgz root@newmachine:/tmp
>cd tmp
>mkdir data && cd $_
>tar xzf /tmp/data.tgz
>mv home/* /home
>Then manually merge user data:
>	/tmp/data/etc/passwd --> /etc/passwd
>	/tmp/data/etc/shadow --> /etc/shadow
>I'd personally use the awesome 'meld' GUI diff/merge tool, but you can 
>use 'vi' or whatever you are comfortable with too.
>You might also explore tar's '--exclude' options, to exclude all the 
>various cruft like .cache and .thumbnail and whatever other trash.
>And if you need to nuke known-bad stuff, something simple like this 
>might work:
>	rm -rf /home/*/.somecruft
>Worst case you can use 'find', but 'find' is an ugly beast.  (A really, 
>really useful one, but ugly.)
>Good luck,
>JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
>My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
>"Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
>software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
>implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
>Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
>Announcements -
>General Discussion  --
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --