Planning for fresh install UM 16.04

In the past I’ve always performed a fresh install but I think I’m missing a key ingredient. I really haven’t worried about self generated data because I don’t use /home for this storage [all such data is stored on external drive to be shared with Ubuntu, Win7 and Mac OSX]. Installing the requisite programs in Ubuntu takes me about 30 minutes so that’s no big deal either.

Possibly I can save myself some time with configuring Thunderbird and FireFox by saving and importing contents of my home directory. My Ubuntu installs are NOT shared with anyone so I have no need to worry about multi user home. Of course I would perform apt update, upgrade on the to be replaced install immediately prior to saving home. Is there a complication of saving to NAS when I import?

Is my assumption correct the after a fresh install and copying contents of home all the Thunderbird and Firefox configurations would successfully migrate?

Thanks In advance!

Hi Peter

Have you seen this?

I have yet to try it. But it looks like good stuff :slight_smile:


The easiest way to copy Thunderbird settings across installations is to simply copy, in it’s entirety, the .thunderbird folder in your home folder and place that copy off system, temporarily. Then, after installing your new system, you will note that there is not a .thunderbird folder in your home folder. This is because it is generated when you start Thunderbird for the first time. Before you do this, place your previous copy of your .thunderbird folder into your new home folder and then fire Thunderbird up as usual. You will find it is exactly as it was on your old system; accounts, passwords, downloaded emails and all.

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Is the same true for FireFox?

With Firefox, you need to take a backup of the bookmarks.

First, make the job easy by enabling, if it is not already, your traditional firefox menu by right-clicking on your Firefox top bar and choosing “menu-bar”

Then, select “bookmarks/show all bookmarks” from the menu

Then, click the “import and backup” button and choose “backup”. It will ask you where you want to save it. Obviously, save it off system.

when you install your new system, you simply choose “import” and navigate to the file and it will repopulate your bookmarks menu with all of your old bookmarks

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Thanks Steve, I already have my FireFox installations set for sync - I use FF on 6 different OSes, I was asking about some of the options set that don’t sync for me

I find it interesting that Aptik requires ppa
I’ve tried to avoid packages that do so … maybe I’ll give it a go

While it's a good idea to backup bookmarks (belt and braces approach), the answer to your question is... Yes! :slight_smile:
Been using this method for sometime.

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Ah right, Sorry pfeiffep. Not tried anything like that on firefox

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I decided to give it go prior to actually needing it :wink: My Initial thoughts:

  • It installed very easily
  • Pretty much gui driven
  • I haven’t found a way to identify a NAS … it only sees a thumb drive ;-(
  • It runs as superuser so all software is identified - ie one must deselect all and only choose what’s required
  • Currently it’s stuck [running on my laptop] on archiving user settings no warning about the 11.8 GB /.thunderbird
  • I’ll try looking a man page to determine if it can be launched as a user not root


  • There is no man page
  • Single click option for settings, backup and restore - base Ubuntu packages were NOT ignored with single click there were over 1600 packages in the list ;-(
  • No issue with being stuck on 11.8 GB
  • Single click is NOT hands off - there are multiple prompts to enter [create] password