I'm used to keep all my files in my /home directory after whiping out my root / device and reinstalling distributions.

This is pretty handy as all private files and personal settings are kept after reinstallation of a linux distribution.

Now I noticed that there are like ~ 300k files are currently in my /home device. I'm wondering:

  • Should I clean up or even whipe out /home before I install a new distro?
  • Is there anything that could cause problems If I use /home directory across multiple (different) linux distributions?

Your home directory is meant to be used for your own files, which means that you definitely can use it with different distributions. Problem can arise if you use different version of the same software, older one could break because of incompatible changes in config files, but that should not be the case if versions are not very distant.


Spring cleaning is always a good idea. It also keeps the (mandatory!) backup-before-upgrade manageable. As @gelraen says, be careful with configuration files in your $HOME (the name, format, contents can change from one version to the next). I usually stash copies away for later analysis so in case something refuses to work I can just blow away configuration.

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