I was considering changing from Ubuntu to Kubuntu (I just think it looks pretty!)...I created a separate partition for /home when I set this up so when I install Kubuntu after removing Ubuntu how much of the previous OS will remain?

Will all of the software installed still be installed or will I have to re-install everything?

I am a web developer who uses a vagrant machine setup to run servers locally...will all of that and how its set up still be there? (its all on /home)

...or is it just the files that will still be there and I gotta essentially start from scratch?

Btw, I realise that I can install Kubuntu on Ubuntu, and I have indeed done that but the machine is running a lot slower and is much less responsive than with normal Ubuntu and I'm not sure what it is but I assume its not running well because its Kubuntu on top of Ubuntu instead of just a fresh Kubuntu install...

  • If people downvote could I please get an explanation as to why? How can I learn and improve without this? May 24, 2018 at 9:33
  • 3
    Just use apt install kubuntu-desktop. It's the same as installing from zero. May 24, 2018 at 9:33
  • I have done that and ran into a bunch of issues...all of which are resolved but the system is much less responsive than when it was ubuntu. I have installed native kubuntu on my laptop which is a much lower spec and it runs much better so im not really sure whats going on but I assume that with a fresdh kubuntu install it would run better? May 24, 2018 at 10:07
  • No, they're the same in binary level. If you know better then don't ask! May 24, 2018 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


Before you do anything, back up /home.

Kubuntu looks to use an installer at least based on the Debian one. You probably can set an option to use your current home partition as is, and to not format it.

Here's the main problem though.

Linux usernames resolve to a UID number. (0 is root). Normal users start at 1000 and work their way up.

Let's say you plug in a Linux-formatted (Ext2/3/4 for example) flash drive, copy files to it as your current user, and then open them on another Linux system. If a local user with the same ID does not exist on the other system, and you aren't logged on as that same local user, the files can't be accessed unless you are root. If you list files where a user doesn't exist or hasn't been created, you'll just see the UID number in things like ls, etc.

So this can create problems for the portion of the setup process that sets up a new user. It will see files in a spot it wants to setup a new user /home/someuser. Not sure what will happen. I doubt files would be deleted but you may run into other problems. Probably nothing too hard to fix but not 100% sure.

It will probably be OK if you select a different username, and then you can log in as root and take ownership of the files/copy them back.

If you are reinstalling the operating system anyway, you should back up your /home, and you might as well do the safest thing and just copy back the files after letting the installer recreate and reformat all partitions.

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