When to reinstall or renew your Endeavour OS install?

Recently I came across a problem whereby rolling back to an earlier BTRFS-Timeshift snapshot did not provide the solution.
When I first installed EnOS I pulled in a lot of /Home config files from previous installations of KDE Plasma, as I had developed lots of modification preferences for how I want my DE to look and operate.
Everything seemed to be going well, but then a problem developed that I couldn’t pin down enough or explain well enough to ask the community to help.
I figured, because I was not seeing others with the same issue, just similar issues, there must be something peculiar about my setup. Also I had a (comparison/test) install of Enos on an old SATA spinning drive in the same PC box (same hardware) and that was booting up and operating just fine.
Therefore I decided I had to reinstall EnOS on the NVMe drive in order to fix my issues.
However I also noticed that with a clean install of Plasma, making my config changes manually instead of dragging in my config files from the SATA drive install, provided some pleasant surprises. KDE Plasma had changed a lot and I like some of their newer defaults which I never got to experience by just doing the rolling upgrades to EnOS.
I particularly like the way LibreOffice now takes on whatever Plasma theme settings I have, which was always something the irked me previously.
So my rhetorical question is, given that it does take some people like me a considerable amount of time to setup their preferred DE install the way they like it, when should you reinstall or refresh the install other than because there is an intractable issue that requires you to reinstall?
I hate to mention Ubuntu or Kubuntu here, but I’m thinking their old 2 year LTS cycle might be a good way to approach things. What do others think?

I more or less never re-install. It kind of defeats the point of using a rolling release.

If you want to get fresh plasma settings you can do that by simply deleting your existing config. You don’t need to re-install or even remove your application configs.

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This, this is the answer.

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There is some housekeeping to do with a rolling distro such as cleaning pacman cache and checking pacdiffs if you haven’t done so when notified during upgrade. I thought there was a post or wiki page about it, but can’t find it atm.

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I would only reinstall the OS if there is a severe issue or if I move to a different distro. Other than that, the OS stays in place for ever.

The problem you describe is not about the OS but about your personal configs which do not allow you to see the new application defaults. Instead of thinking about a new OS installation you should probably think about deleting your $HOME/.config directory. This will reset all apps to their defaults.

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I tend to reinstall when I see bugs and conflicts due to too many DEs being installed and the whole thing becomes a tangle too large to sort out. However that’s rarely the case today, as nowadays I spin up a new install on a secondary drive when I want to test out a DE so that I don’t bork up my daily driver.

When I do reinstall however, I like to setup almost everything from scratch. Some of the settings I make an exception for because some parts I’ve spent a lot of time customizing and I know they’re in good working order.

That being said, my install is now 1 year old. I’m itching to do a clean install, Windows habits die hard :slight_smile:

I just reinstalled mine. All three … triple boot on rEFInd again This time it didn’t use Btrfs. Just plain old installs, all separate, on 3 drives. Booting with rEFInd using grubx64.efi. No os-prober on each install so i keep grub menu only for each particular install. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Sometimes it seems easier to nuke and reinstall than to work through the issues, but working through them can be a good learning experience :beers:

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I reinstall every time I want to try a new OS on the machine, OR when I buy new hard drive for the machine. Due to the simplicity of my installs, quicker IMO to reinstall than to keep backups and restore.

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It’s your computer, you can reinstall the OS as often as you want.

Personally, I usually only reinstall the OS when I do some major hardware replacement, like new root storage drive. Or when I’m distrohopping. Other than that, I don’t see any point to reinstalling.

For new users, it is tempting to reinstall every time they encounter a problem. Some setting is wrong, an update broke something, or some program didn’t install correctly – reinstall everything! Often, reinstalling seems like a straightforward solution to any problem. The two problems with that are: 1) it’s unnecessary, a bit like using a nuclear weapon to kill a fly, and 2) it’s a waste of an opportunity to learn something new about your system by trying to fix it. If you know what you’re doing, actually fixing a problem is almost always much faster and easier than reinstalling1. And if you don’t know how to fix it, that’s a good opportunity to learn.


1That said, if you’re particularly stu careless, you can break your system in such a way that reinstalling the OS is the only practical, realistic way to fix it. I’ve seen people on another forum running sudo chmod recursively on their root directory… :man_facepalming:t3: If you do something like that, it’s best to reinstall.

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If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is

:partying_face:

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Never.

That is the point of a rolling release … install once, manage indefinitely. This requires some regular admin work, but easier than re-installing and configuring an entire system from scratch.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/System_maintenance

Even if the root hdd fails I can replace the hdd, manually partition and encrypt, then restore the root & efi file systems using partclone.

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:point_up: :100: Couldn’t agree more!

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It’s great to read all the responses here. I certainly enjoy leaning the intricacies and challenges of how to diagnose my own issues and trying to fix them. All part of the fun of using EnOS. But I’m also glad of starting with a clean system this time and so am more confident that any issues will no longer be from me injecting my old crud or carrying over my past misshapen configs into my new system.
I’m really looking forward to rolling properly from here on and will search (and ask) for better answers.
Thank you for all your insights about refreshing instead of reinstalling. If I get stuck again I will certainly ask for more insights. I love so much about EnOS … and Plasma and this community :smiley: :upside_down_face: :beers:

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That’s the wiki page I was looking for, thanks for posting!

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This:

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I do reinstall a lot! Desktop hopper…distro hopper! :wink:

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Have to answer the call - I can relate, Virtualbox doesn’t cut it for me!

Reinstall? Not so much. Almost 9 months on my Arch install so far.

Second computer is for hopping though. Although now I have enough computer I will start up do VMs more than likely, so I probably won’t reinstall for some time.

I hopped around from May till about mid/late July (Virtual Box) and was running OpenSUSE for a period of time, maybe 1 1/2 months (love my OpenSUSE) and then tried Arch via VBOX and eventually went the EOS way because the Calamares installer is win. That was late August, so about 4 months(ish) on EOS and can’t complain.

Definitely a bit more troubleshooting with things than on OpenSUSE but they were resolved thanks to the people on this forum and the Arch Wiki. Then again I had similar problems on Debian distro’s that required digging to solve (audio popping due to power management etc).