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I have set up a common home partition (labelled "data") accessable from two separate linux distributions. It is mounted on startup and the mount point is "/home/hilltownboy/data". In other words, it is mounted in my home partition.
Question: is there some other place that would be better? I am afraid of inadvertent confusion between the contents of "data" and "home". I have already succeeded in unintendedly wiping out a directory of important files from "data" so that they are lost to both distributions. (Fortunately I had backed them up beforehand.)
Thus, in both OS'es /dev/sda4 is mounted as /home/mh/doc. The only hard part here was making sure I had the same UUID on Arch and SUSE, so that the same file perms would apply. All my files stuff are on /dev/sda4, and all my local config files (.bashrc, .vimrc, .xinitrc) reside on the root partitions of their own OS'es, in /home/mh.
giving a meaningful name to the mount point, like shared_data, might help preventing what you described (but this is only psychological). The fact that those data are on a different partition makes no difference, as long as you have write access to them. On my machine I have a different setup which works very well: I created the mount point in /home, then symbolic links in user directories pointing to it.
# ls -l /home/user/shared_data
lrwxrwxrwx 1 user user 14 Jan 19 17:56 /home/user/shared_data -> /home/shared_data
Deleting the user-created link would not delete anything on the partition. But this doesn't fully prevent what you described: even if you accessed the partition from the link, deleting a file or a directory there would mean losing it!
Last edited by Philip Lacroix; 03-09-2013 at 03:57 PM.
I have a directory /usr/local/public where I put data which should be accessible from all distributions. I have also a directory "markus" there which is owned by the owner markus on every distribution my directories "Downloads", "Documents" and so on are simlinks to this folders in the /usr/local/public/markus/ directory.
I have created this data-partition outside of /home because every distribution has it's own /home partition and I want to use the same username for me with any distribution. The advantage of this setup is that one can use relatively small partitions for /home because they are only used for the personal configfiles, not the data.
You could have it mounted on /home/data, and symlink to it from your different HOME directories. Another option is to -bind mount the partition at a second directory.
Imagine that you have to users sharing the directory. Putting it on /home/data will allow both users access without needing to grant read/execute access to your home directory for the other user(s). They need to reach it to be able to access it.