I broke Ubuntu, I want to backup my data and reinstall it.


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Apr 28, 2020
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Hey everybody!

I love Ubuntu, started using 16.04 in December. I was trying to use some terminal commands to resolve an issue with Docker, and I think that's what led to Ubuntu failing to boot thereafter.

(The main question is: How do I recover my data?)

Here are the commands I put in (with the link where I got them):

I made my user's .docker folder accessible without sudo like so: sudo chgrp -hR docker ~/.docker && sudo chown -R myuser ~/.docker. the chgrp didn't seem to help though, so probably I should only recommend the chown step. – Birchlabs Jul 28 '17 at 11:24


So I'd like to start ubuntu in recovery mode, save my data to a hard drive, and then remove and reinstall ubuntu in that partition of my hard drive.

The first step is the one I'm least sure about: How do I recover all my data?
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in order to save your data you need to have your home directory in a partition other than /. So boot up to a live usb drive, edit your partitions so that you have 1 for / and a new one for home. Move all your data from /home to your new home partition. Make sure you include all your hidden folders. Then when you reinstall Linux, do a manual partition scheme, put root in / with the format option, then put /home at your new partition and MAKE SURE YOU DON"T FORMAT IT :). Then when you reboot, home will have all it's old content.

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