Today’s adventure using Ubuntu One Cloud synchronization and Tom Boy Notes:
William: I have spent countless hours fine tuning my Ubuntu 10.4 LTS (long term support). I know it will have support for another year or two which is obviously why they call it LTS. But I am wondering IF there is any way to back up or extract all the tweaks and installations so that when it becomes unavoidably necessary to upgrade then I will not have to install everything from scratch. I realize that the more I have in “the cloud” in places like Google then such things do not have to be reinstalled but are simply always there and available through a browser.
I suppose if Ubuntu perfects some type of update in place, sort of an upgrade, then re-installation would not be necessary. Someone remarked that upgrades in place are less reliable/advisable than doing a fresh install.
Is there in fact some way to export all the installs and configurations and tweaks and then reapply them to a new Ubuntu install.
I pity the people who do not choose LTS for they must be reinstalling everything every six months. On the other hand power Linux users seem to enjoy installing new things. Thanks for any advice!
Mike: Following the upgrade path inside Ubuntu isn’t so bad. The admonition for fresh install has historical merit, but since 9.x most of the bugs have been worked out.
In fact, I’d suggest staying on the upgrade path only after trying the live CD of the newer version; make sure it looks right for you. 11.04 introduced some video changes, along with Unity, that my older system didn’t like. Off came Unity, back to Gnome.
William: That is great news. I did just search youtube and found a demo of AptToCD which can back up a list of all installed applications. The only weird thing is that when you go to restore/install, the last part is not so automat…ic and you must to into TERMINAL and enter some obscure commands. Doing that sort of thing makes me nervous. Someone on Google Plus could not understand WHY I would want to take a Windows machine and make it all Ubuntu. He thought I should leave a Windows partition. I explained why I loathe and despise Microsoft and would prefer to find a way to live life using only Ubuntu and open source. The main thing is that I dont have the money or the skills to reinstall Windows or have an install disk. Yesterday I was able to install WINE and then install Windows Quicken 2005 and it seems to work fine. I was also able to run a Windows Chinese Pinyin Tone program which is simply an .EXE which is not “installed” but that also worked fine.
That might be APTONCD because that is what I found in the synaptic manager.
Ok, here is the crap you have to type in TERMINAL to finish a restore. I guess it is not TOO bad.
The .deb packages will be copied to /var/cache/apt/archives. Now you can install them running this command in a Terminal:
sudo dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb
Yes it is fun to learn Ubuntu and see things actually WORK. Yes, I would like to escape from the tyranny of proprietary software and into the world of open source. I breathe a sigh of relief when you give me hope that upgrade in …place is becoming a viable option. I realize that there do exists ways to backup data applications and configurations but I am not a rocket scientist. I need step-by-step instructions with screen shots if there is not an automated process.
Yesterday, I installed WINE because I NEED to get Quicken 2005 running and it DOES run. But then I went to backup my Blackberry on the Windows machine and I thought about installing the Blackberry Desktop on Ubuntu under WINE. Then I found …some articles which hit at all sorts of extra things to add. I said to myself that I can live without Blackberry Desktop in Ubuntu and I dont want to add things that may crash my system. Someone commented that RIM (Research In Motion) Blackberry is not about to develop applications for the Linux community. I wonder if there will ever be a TIPPING POINT were all efforts suddenly converge upon one operating system? I see Ubuntu and all the Linux flavors as “too big to fail”. Some countries (e.g. Switzerland) have mandated that all educational institutions make Linux a standard.
I meant to stress that while I am having FUN, I obviously want to protect my investment of time and effort with some reliable backup. I think it is one.ubunto.com that is giving my 5 gigs of free cloud storage which I gratefully… use. I just started to experiment with Tom Boy Notes and synced them with a folder I created on my desktop. I looked into syncing them with DropBox which is highly praised. I am hesitant because it looks like I have to add a lot of stuff which might crash my system. My understanding is that if I have synced with a local folder and if I back up that folder to usb flash drive then I may simply restore folder and resync and that should serve my needs, so why risk crashing the system or slowing down with periodic synchronizations with dropbox or one.ubuntu. I suppose I should search in youtube for a how to tutorial on Tom Boy Notes sync (and no wise cracks from the LGBTQ in the Peanut Gallery!)
I made myself curious about one.ubuntu file syncing so I found this tutorial and went to synaptic manager and saw that I needed to install some more ubuntu.one tools to access the ability to sync the tomboynotes folder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=LV7Blv5YJkw
I found THIS link explaining how to sync with one.ubuntu.com cloud and I am following the simple instructions but it is taking a LONG time to sync!! at least what seems like a long time https://one.ubuntu.com/help/tutorial/install-and-setup-ubuntu-one-7/
Geeze!!! I enabled this one.ubuntu sync BUT I do hope it does not just go ahead and automatically sync ALL my files… I would hope that it ASKS me which files I want to sync because I have MORE than my 5 gig cloud limit on my drive and I only want to sync tomboy notes and a few other things….!!!
This is annoying as hell. one.ubuntu.com does not make clear whether it will automatically attempt to sync EVERYTHING or whether I have control of which folders will be synced. I have an 8 gig archive on the desktop. If I right click on th…at archive there is an option to SYNC, but there is no option to UNSYNC. So I am moving the damn thing back to my usb flash drive and deleting it so that at least IF I have to suffer with everything on the desktop getting synced, then at least I wont exceed the 5 gig cloud limit!!!
So NOW my big question is: IF I can get one.ubuntu synchronization to work then how do I control WHAT gets synchroniced and what does not and if EVERYTHING on the desktop IS AUTOMATICALLY synchronized, then where in my filing system can I shove an 8 gig folder that I do not want synchronized??!!!
I am finding some information about controlling which files get synced but they make it SO DIFFICULT AND OBSCURE !!! http://askubuntu.com/questions/22961/how-to-sync-folders-selectively-across-computers
Meanwhile you can access the functionality via u1sdtool: to list all the folders syncdaemon knows about, enter u1sdtool –list-folders; then you use the folder ids listed there to enter the id in u1sdtool –subscribe-folder=folderid (or –u…nsubscribe).
The default behavior is for syncdaemon to subscribe to folders automatically when they are created; you can change this by editing /etc/xdg/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf (or ~/.config/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf to do it per user) and add a line udf_autosubscribe = False to the [__main__] section.
Oh GREAT! Now I learn that there is a folder called Ubuntu.One and in that folder I find that it did begin to sync what I had in their cloud storage. I am almost finished backing up the 8 gig folder that I do NOT want synced. In a desperate…d effort to see if I could OMIT it from syncing I right clicked on it and it had a place to click and say SYNC with one.ubuntu so I DID CLICK ON THAT hoping I could turn it OFF, but then I see that it is a ONE WAY STREET…. there is no toggle for OFF, …. so now that I have backed the damn thing up to the usb… my only option is to delete it from the desktop. MY GOD why cant these propellor head linux people tell a beginner in PLAIN ENGLISH up front what to expect!!!
OK, I deleted the 8 gig folder on the desktop, having backed it up to the 32 gig usb drive. I rebooted my machine, went to system preferences and clicked on ONE UBUNTU. I was taken to a browser screen which prompted me to RE-ADD my desktop …… and synchronization resumed. NOW I think I understand that all it is doing is making a copy of the few files which are ON the cloud account to the folder named one.ubuntu… (damn I cant keep these names straight perhaps it is ubuntu.one) … and nothing will get synced outside of that folder UNLESS I right click and ADD it to the synchronication process but GOD HELP me if I synchronize a folder and then want it UNSYNCHRONIZED…!!
Ubuntu One resynchronization is in process. I right clicked on my desktop folder TomBoyNotes which is already locally synced with Tom Boy, and I requested that it be synchronized with Ubuntu One Cloud storage and I added the following NOTE – to test whether the sync works. Supposedly I can install tomboy notes on my windows xp and sync it with Ubuntu One Cloud storage:
Ubuntu One Synchronization
Test of One Ubuntu Synchronization. I right clicked on the TomBoyNotes folder on my desktop and requested that it be synchronized with Ubuntu One.
Aha, this is an encouraging sign! I look at the browser where I am logged into ubuntu.one.com cloud storage and it says 107.6 MB used and I look at the Ubuntu One Preferences which shows sync is in progress and it TOO says 107.6 MB used so it is syncing the files on the cloud with that folder in DESKTOP called Ubuntu One. My initial fear was that it was scoop up ALL files on my local machine and would soon gobble up my 5 gig limit and then demand that I pay more for monthly storage.