How to save $HOME when reinstalling OpenBSD

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Everything has gone wrong and you have to reinstall from scratch. It shouldn’t happen but it may if you do something silly – I once accidentally deleted /etc! But you have all sorts of stuff in $HOME that you don’t want to lose. Can you preserve it?

Well, of course, you should have a backup. I save one nightly on Tarsnap. But it may take a long time to restore from backup and it would be better if you didn’t have to.

Fortunately you can save your $HOME quite easily. Here’s how.

  1. When the Install process asks you to use disklabel, choose either OpenBSD or Whole Disk.

2. See which partition contains /home. Suppose it is ‘k’.Delete this with ‘d k’ and remake it with ‘a k’. Choose ‘No mount point’ (this seems to be the defalt at present).

3. Complete the Install process. When the system restarts,  edit /etc/fstab to mount the ‘k’ partition as /home.

It should work – it has worked for me. But if at all possible make a backup first, just in case it doesn’t.

 

 

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