Hi I am a new Linux user and I installed Ubuntu but now I am liking elementary OS more so how can I shift without loosing my data(song videos and stuff in home folder)

PS - I am a complete noobie in Linux so if you could give detailed steps that would be great.


2 Answers 2


Basically you should separate your /homeand / partitions on your existing system.

  1. Boot the elementary OS live DVD/USB system you want to install
  2. With gparted you should shrink your existing root partition and create a new partition (10-12 GB should suffice)
  3. You can install elementary OS to the new partition
  4. You can mount the old partiton as /home while installing the new system
  5. After your newly installed system is working, you can gain some space by removing the old system from your /home partition
  6. You might as well restructure it so that your documents appear in your new /home folder (you will find them in /home/home/username)
  • I don't have that big hard drive stil I will lose my home stuff in directory Feb 5, 2017 at 8:13
  • Temporarily saving to a OldHome directory and then copying it back is just as easy. A home partition will fragment your drive if you are limited on space (I have 32 gb for dual boot!). The problem is saving the software..while some "settings" will remain.. the big thing is reinstalling the software.. Best of luck..just start fresh. Feb 5, 2017 at 9:18

There's not a direct "upgrade" path from Ubuntu to elementary OS. You'll need to install elementary OS, then copy your files over and re-install your applications.

There are a few ways to do this. You could:

  • Move your content to another partition, and then replace Ubuntu with elementary OS. (See above answer for details.)
  • Back up your files to a third-party service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or SpiderOak. Then, completely overwrite Ubuntu with a fresh install of elementary OS, and re-download your files.
  • Install elementary OS alongside Ubuntu. Copy your files from the Ubuntu partition to the elementary partition. Once you're ready, delete the partition containing Ubuntu.

The installer should be able to handle a clean install or a dual boot setup for you. You'll see a message like the screenshot below. (It will say "Ubuntu" instead of "Windows 10", though! 😀)

See also: the Dropbox for elementary OS installation script.

elementary OS installer Image source: LinOxide

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