Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4570 mails)

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Re: [SLE] sharing /home between different linuxes
  • From: Sjoerd Hiemstra <shiems.suse_ml@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 19:09:33 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <20051128200807.07f692e7.shiems.suse_ml@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 11:00:21 +0000
John Ryan <jvryan@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> I am in the process of setting up a multi-boot system, where I may
> have Suse, Ubuntu and possibly another variant of linux. (I am in
> learning mode)
> Will there be any problems if I mount /home on one partition (say on
> /dev/hda5), and use that partition as /home for all of the flavours of
> linux?
> Would there be conflicts when installing one system if another already
> has its /home on /dev/hda5 or when upgrading? i.e. will the upgrade or
> install wipe the existing /home?
> Would there be any problems with using Gnome on one linux and kde on
> another?
> Would it be OK to share say Thunderbird email between the different
> flavours even if the versions of Thurderbird differed slightly?
> Is it a good idea?

This is what I read in TUX Magazine #8 p. 38:

<start quote>

Sharing partitions:
when you are running several versions of Linux, it is very tempting to
force them all to share a partition or two. One of the biggest
temptations is to create a separate partition for your home directory,
and then make all your Linux distributions use this partition.

Don't even try it unless you really, really, really know what you are
doing. Here are some of the problems you will have to solve. One
distribution may assign your user and group ID to 1000 and 1000,
respectively, and the next will assign 500 and 500. Now you have
permission problems to iron out. One distribution may use KDE 3.3,
another may use KDE 3.4, and still another a custom version of KDE. All
may assume your KDE configuration files reside in the directory
/home/username/.kde. You will experience problems using KDE on one, two
or all three distributions if they share this directory.

I could go on and on. I have managed to share several directories across
multiple distributions, including even all the Firefox browser
configuration files. But it wasn't easy to do, it doesn't work for all
distributions, and I make regular backups in anticipation of the day one
of the distributions updates Firefox and makes these files incompatible
with the other distributions.

<end quote>

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