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Old 04-03-2005, 05:38 AM   #1
eeried
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partition sharing pour Linux dual/multiple boot


Hello,

I'm planning to uninstall my dual boot Win98se-Libranet(Linux) and to replace it with Libranet, kaella (based on knoppix and "frenchified"), and Ubuntu or Kubuntu.

In other word I'll stick with Debian-based Distros.

As I have a small disk (8Gb), i should like to know if it is possible to share the home partition between the distros.


- Sharing swap is all right

- Is sharinh :home all right?

- Sharing /usr/local where I install Firefox, thunderbird, OpenOffice.org would be great too. Is it possible?

- As for sharing /usr as a whole this I understand might be a problem, or am I wrong there?

In fact it'd be nice to be able to apt-install (install or upgrade) programs at one go all over the distros -- but then /var would have to be shared, is this possible?

- Finally is it possible to share /tmp ?

Of course I mean making as many partitions as required -- at least swap /, /home, /usr /var /tmp

PS I know how to edit /etc/fstab
 
Old 04-03-2005, 05:53 AM   #2
Komakino
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It's definitely possible to share /home but you'll have to make sure that you setup your users with the same UID and GID to be able to save and open files from your home partition in both distributions.

Sharing /usr/local should also be possible, and probably /usr too. Afterall, this is only what networked computers do.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 08:06 AM   #3
koyi
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Re: partition sharing pour Linux dual/multiple boot

Although it is possible to share /home, I would say create another partition and mount it under something like /mnt/data. You can access it from any distros then, and still keeping the config files, which are stored under home dir, that may be different between distros.

In the first place, why would you install so many distros on such a tiny disk? I think sticking to one may be a better idea if you are not experimenting with them...
 
Old 04-03-2005, 08:41 AM   #4
Komakino
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Re: Re: partition sharing pour Linux dual/multiple boot

Quote:
Originally posted by koyi
Although it is possible to share /home, I would say create another partition and mount it under something like /mnt/data. You can access it from any distros then, and still keeping the config files, which are stored under home dir, that may be different between distros.
I disagree - actually being able to share config files between distros would be a great thing, rather than have to set up, for example, fluxbox the way he likes it on both distros he need only set it up once and the settings would be the same on both distros. Likewise he would be able to access things like emails at the same time. Also, on such a small disk this would save a lot of space. There are not likely to be 'distro specific' config files stored in the home partition anyway - often /home is on a different machine in a large organisation (at university it was even shared by the windows machines!) and so distro specific configs wouldn't be saved there anyway.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 08:49 AM   #5
jschiwal
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You could share the home partition. It is simply a storage partition for the home directories. (Please note my distinction between the terms 'home partition' and 'home directory') If you simply use two different user names for the two distro's, you will have two separate home directories. One for Libranet, and the other for Ubuntu. If on the other hand you want to use the same user for the two distro's, then you want to make sure that you use the same UID and GID numbers. Making changes in KDE in one, would write to ~/.kde/ and cause the same changes in the other.

Otherwise, having different directories, you could have a common directory for your documents, and have a symbolic link to them in different home directories. This would allow you to work normally using either distro. Again, you need to make sure that you have either user or group read/write access to this directory for each yourself in each distro.

If would be easier to share the /usr partition between several computers using the same distro, then among several distros on the same computer. You might want to read through the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard for details on which directories can be shared on a network drive, and which can be mounted read-only. A company with 50 linux machines will probably do it this way because it makes administration easier. The programs and libraries only need to be updated in one location instead of updating every machine. However there may be differences between two distro's which would cause problems. However since the /partition tends to get very large, it may be worth it to give it a try. If you install a package in one distro, you would need to make the same changes to other directories such as setup files in the /etc directory. It may be difficult keeping track of this.

Last edited by jschiwal; 04-03-2005 at 10:18 AM.
 
Old 04-03-2005, 11:05 AM   #6
eeried
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I know I sound a bit silly with my tiny disk and my ambitious multiboot planning!!

I'm very happy with Libranet but I feel like experimenting with other debian-based distros because this makes me more fluent with linux, each distro being different, and because I try to help other people adopt Linux -- I don't like to say "Use Libranet and that's that"; it's nice to offer some choice.

Many thanks for your advice and views on the subject -- I'll have something to think about.
 
  


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