Miranda’s really nagging me about wanting to use my Linux computer. But, before letting her do that, I want to do two things: replace one of the drives (the original one, which I’ve been using for everything but backups) with a larger one, and install Ubuntu.

Following John’s suggestion, I’m moving /home and /usr/local to the second drive, to smooth the upgrade. Fortunately, there’s not much in /usr/local, since I’d have to recompile binaries, but I figure even the presence of unusable binaries will serve as a helpful reminder. And, actually, the only thing I care about is ViewVC, which I believe is pure Python.

But the second drive is currently devoted to a partition called /backup, and I don’t want to have my home directory live under that name! Fortunately, there’s a layer of indirection involved: the second drive is actually one LVM volume group, with a single volume under it. So I use a handy graphical tool to go to that volume and edit its properties (to be specific, I reduce the number of blocks it uses); all of a sudden (well, after about 10 minutes, but that’s okay, I have a book to read), the partition is smaller.

And then things flow smoothly: rename /home to /home-old, create another volume in the volume group on the second drive, mount it at /home, and mv the contents of /home-old into /home. (And yes, my first instinct is to use a tar pipeline instead, but mv has been working fine across filesystems for a decade and a half or so by now…) Repeat for /usr/local, and I’m all set. Really easy, that; I should move stuff around more often!

A bit more backing up to do, and I’m all set. I should save the contents of /ext (not sure what I care about there, but at least the apache configuration will be useful), and I should dump the MySQL databases. The only local Subversion repositories are in my home directory, for better or for worse, so that should be fine. I can’t think offhand of anything else I should backup; I’ll sleep on it tonight, and, if I find the time, take care of the upgrade tomorrow.

Which I might not: we are tentatively planning to do carpet cleaning tomorrow, and that takes a few hours. (But it’s never as long as I fear.) I downloaded the Ubuntu DVD image last night; I guess I’ll go burn that now.

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