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Currently I have Pop!_OS installed on my Dell XPS 15 but I am planning to eOS next week. The good thing is that I already created a separate /home partition. Can I just erase the system partition (50GB) and install eOS there while keeping all my files as they are? Or should I make a backup, erase everything and start from scratch?

This is the first time I hop to another distro so I'm kind of a newbie in this area.

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If you just save your /home partition you'll have all your data and most config files that your apps use. However you'll loose all your installed apps.

There isn't any perfect solution to move apps from your old system to the new one. But I'll explain the best one based on this question:

Create a file called installed_packages with your manually installed apps:

comm -23 <(apt-mark showmanual | sort -u) <(gzip -dc /var/log/installer/initial-status.gz | sed -n 's/^Package: //p' | sort -u) > installed_packages

Then copy that file to the new installation, open terminal on the same directory and execute:

sudo apt install -y $(cat installed_packages)

You can also edit installed_packages and add or delete any package you want. You may get some errors like package not found. That's because you didn't add the ppa you've used for that app.

Now you have 2 options:

The best one is to install that package from any other method that doesn't require a ppa (snap, flaptak, appimage...).

The other option is to save all the files inside /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and add the necessary entries on the new system.

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    If you don't have many apps and don't mind doing things manually, you can just write down the names of the apps that appear on the Applications menu and install them on the new system. – Maccer Oct 14 '18 at 18:06
  • Thanks, that seems like an easier job than I thought. For most of my apps I kept the most recent versions of the .deb, .run and .AppImage files in separate directory, so installing them will be piece of cake. When I do the installation next week, I will report how it went and how I overcame the hurdles (if there are any of course). – wout Oct 15 '18 at 9:36
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    Alright! Just one thing. Try to install those apps from Appcenter first. They may be available there and it won't cause any weird bug that may happen when you install those apps directly using a .deb or .run file. – Maccer Oct 15 '18 at 11:27

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