Always make backups of anything.
At Paderborn, the software installation has always been somewhat deficient. Since I was a student in first semester, I’ve always compiled all my software, and today I still do this for Eressea. I make my own gcc, gdb, luabind, subversion, valgrind, libxml2, libiconv, spamassassin, screen, rsync and jam packages.
This isn’t good for my quota, obviously. Today I needed to clean up some stuff and accidentally deleted the entire software install. Bummer. I realized then that while all this was freely available software, it takes freaking forever to rebuild the whole shebang. That alone is worth taking a backup. I’m still rebuilding gcc now, for the second time, since 3.4 didn’t wok with luabind, and so I need 3.3 instead.
Free software that you can compile yourself is cool. But being root on a debian box and using apt-get is better.