How to save $HOME when reinstalling OpenBSD

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 acccidentally 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 disklable, choose either OpenBSD or Whole Disk.

2. See which partition contains /home. Suppose it is ‘k’. Type ‘m -k’ (without the quotes). Choose ‘No mount point’.

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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