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Don Myers wrote:
I started with Ubuntu with version 8.10, and have had each version
since then. I generally find it easiest to do a clean install. One
advantage of that is every 6 months I have a complete backup of my
hard drive. The second advantage is it is very easy to do. Each
program has its own hidden file under the home directory, such as
.thunderbird, .mozilla, .filezilla, gimp-2.8, etc. Once the new
install is completed, and you have the programs installed that you
wish from the repository or the ppa, open each one one time to create
the .whatever hidden file. Then simply delete that file and replace it
with the backed up file, and you have all of your settings, e-mail,
bookmarks, server settings for filezille, and everything exactly the
way was. Very easy and very fast. Much, much, much faster than doing a
clean install of Windows.

Why not just have a separate /home partition?  That way, you don't have
to delete & replace the app files.

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