Switching Distros without losing Data?

I am still trying to decide which distro will be my daily driver. I have loaded a distro and started setting up with all of the programs and files I want and getting all of my settings the way I want them only to decide to try a different distro. Then when I do that I have to start all over and lose all of my Data from my previous set-up process.
It would seem that there must be a way to streamline this process without starting all over again but I have no idea how to do this.
Can anyone help? Sorry if this has already been covered. I looked but could not find anything.
Thanks in advance,
Jeff

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Jeff I am currently have the same problem. What I have found I can do is either load the data to a different drive or partition a section of your current hard drive. Which I am looking in to doing the latter. From what I see is you can set up a file called “home” in the new partition. That will be where all of your important info will be stored. So when you change distros you never format the part of the drive with the home folder in it from what I “understand”.
I have NOT found a tutorial to show how this is specifically done.
From what I have found there are two different schools of thought about setting your drive up this way. One it is a great thing the other is not so good. So I am still researching this problem myself.
Kulley

@Gr8_4w4k3n1n9 and @Skinstitcher

The quickest and easiest way of doing this is having a separate USB drive to store those files on. For instance: Just about everything you’ve downloaded, documents you’ve saved, pictures you’ve loaded, are all kept within the “Home” folder. If you copy the entire Home folder to the USB, you should be able to copy it to a new installation.

If it is .config files, or system files that you’re trying to preserve, that is not something that you would want to do. Deleting and replacing system files can cause a lot of problems, and will require a good deal of terminal work in order to get it operating correctly.

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I’m trying this on a Mini running Mint. I used sudo cp -rp/millhouse20 /sdb with sdb being a 2Tb usb drive. Until I got the syntax right I got errors. But with this the cursor went to the next line and stopped blinking. After several minutes I get a message that my root drive is full. Then the terminal filled with cp errors No space left on device. It seems it had been copying my home folder to the root instead of the usb. Is there any rectifying this? An “undo”? Or a “redo”?
My question while all this was happening was, can I run a new installation of Ubuntu Server using this home folder still on the usb? Assuming I’m able to salvage my oops?

Having recovered my Home folder from the full hard drive, I have maybe not a stupid question, but also maybe not the brightest. Can multiple installed distros, dual or triple or how ever many, share a single Home folder that mounts no matter which distro I choose to run?
For example…I have Mint and Ubuntu Studio as boot options. Can I create a partition on the fly and copy that Home folder to it and have it mount for either distro? Space is not an issue.

Can multiple installed distros, dual or triple or how ever many, share a single Home folder that mounts no matter which distro I choose to run?
For example…I have Mint and Ubuntu Studio as boot options. Can I create a partition on the fly and copy that Home folder to it and have it mount for either distro? Space is not an issue.

Yes, they can share if you set up a separate partition as your /home directory. That’s easy to do.

Using a separate hard drive partition for your /home directory is very common and there are no important drawbacks that I can think of. Plus, if you want to install a new distro, your don’t have to worry about losing your files.

Im going to try this today. Just have to find out how. When I’ve figured it out and tested, I’ll followup.

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Just wondering what the final result was…

I got sidetracked, then holidays, outside stuff but got to mess around with this a bit today. I have yet to be successful but from the failures come education and eventually success. Hopefully be back tomorrow with something better.