I have searched the forum but can't find an answer to this simple question. When restoring from backup is it best to install the packages I had previously installed and then restore from the backup or the other way around? I maintain a list of all installed packages so I know exactly what I need to reinstall.
Should not make much difference...
Technically packages first is the most logical, but if your restore zaps something new that has been introduced, you won't have the "maintainer config" for reference.
If you do files first, you'll usually get a maintainer for new references, but at the same time, there is a remote chance some other inadvertent auxillary file can be overwritten too.
Short answer, packages.