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Old 03-31-2006, 10:37 PM   #1
odiseo77
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Question /home partition shared by different distros


Hi all, I currently have Debian Etch installed on my system but I want to try other distros as well. When I installed Debian I specified /home to be on another partition. The point is, each distro differ from each other in the Gnome and KDE menus (Debian for example has a 'Debian' submenu in KDE with lots of interesting apps). So, my question is, if I install other distro (I'm planning to install FC5 in the upcoming days) and share the /home partition with debian, will I loose the debian menu?? I don't mind about the color and window decoration settings since I selected default settings that can be shared by all distros, but what about the menus? how to keep the menu of each distro I want to install when sharing the /home partition?
Thanks in advance.

Edit: Also, is it really recommended to have /home as a different partition??

Last edited by odiseo77; 03-31-2006 at 10:50 PM.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 01:56 AM   #2
dalek
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I have read about people trying this, it does not work well at all. You really need to have seperate /home directory for each distro. It sucks since you will have to work out something with your email too. That is what I hated about having more than one distro. Since I got Gentoo running, I only have one OS on here.

Best of luck.

 
Old 04-01-2006, 02:17 AM   #3
/bin/bash
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Most apps will be ok with sharing the /home directory as long as they are close in version number. As you said KDE and Gnome are the exceptions and that is mainly because of different distros install different apps and so your menus will be different. You could always have different kde/gnome directories and just have the boot scripts load the correct one for the different distros.

For example you could have .kde.slack and .kde.deb and your .bashrc file could check /etc/issue to determine which distro you are using then it sets a symlink .kde -> .kde.slack or .kde -> .kde.deb.

<edit> Another problem of course is that distros assign UID's GID's differently so you need to manually check to ensure your UID/GID is the same for both distros.

Last edited by /bin/bash; 04-01-2006 at 02:27 AM.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 02:44 AM   #4
dalek
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From what I have read, some have problems even with the same GUI version. Some of the Gentoo folks were trying this and it was buggy to say the least. KDE especially is a bit different from distro to distro. He may get lucky but I would have a spare copy just in case.

Later

 
Old 04-01-2006, 02:58 AM   #5
randrake
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I simply create a shortcut to each distro's home directory for accessing files. I copy over other settings files such as .mozilla to the new install. Sharing the same home directory however is doomed to fail. I also use Thunderbird as you can set it up to use a specefic shared folder or partition for mail and settings, do this in each install and your mail will be readable across both distros if you use thunderbird.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 06:57 AM   #6
odiseo77
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Hi, thanks for your help. Well, it seems a bit complicated. Now I'm thinking about leaving my /home partition just for febian. Anyway, if I try it I'll post the results here.

Regards.
 
Old 04-01-2006, 09:10 AM   #7
archtoad6
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I maintain a separate /Data partition & try to put all common things there.

I have too many distros/versions to have separate /home's for each of them.

To use a parallel from the Win world, maybe Linux needs to separate "Documents" from "Settings".
 
Old 04-01-2006, 09:54 AM   #8
dalek
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I wouldn't be suprised of someone has come up with a script that takes care of some of this. Finding it may be fun though.

Later

 
Old 04-01-2006, 01:02 PM   #9
muddywaters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randrake
I simply create a shortcut to each distro's home directory for accessing files. I copy over other settings files such as .mozilla to the new install. Sharing the same home directory however is doomed to fail. I also use Thunderbird as you can set it up to use a specefic shared folder or partition for mail and settings, do this in each install and your mail will be readable across both distros if you use thunderbird.
I wonder if that works with Kmail? The 2 major multiboot annoyances for me have been email and bookmarks. The bookmarks thing could be solved easily I think. Maybe it's time to try Thunderbird.
 
Old 04-02-2006, 11:15 AM   #10
randrake
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If Kmail has a feature that allows you to choose what folder email is stored to than it should work as well. I however boot windows also so I needed an app that runs on that platform to. The neat thing about TBird is that it's settings for spam, message filters, and folders will also be stored in the folder you choose. This way no matter what OS you are booted into it will be seamless email, just remember that whatever partition you have your mail folder in is automounted at boot with the apropriate permissions. My mail folder is in a FAT partition so that both nix OSs and windows can use it. It is pretty cool once set up.

If you use TB remember to uncheck the use globel folders when setting it up if you want your inbox to have your account name. And if you also boot windows it might be a good idea to install either Clam or Klam AV and set it to auto scan any partitions shared with windows to protect windows.

I think you will like TBird, with extra spam filtering and excelent message filtering whats not to like? It also jives with spam assin to. I install it and Ffox to my home folder in a folder for apps so that they can keep them selves updated, reinstalling them both to another OS or other user's home folder is an easy copy past operation as well.

Last edited by randrake; 04-02-2006 at 11:18 AM.
 
Old 04-02-2006, 01:42 PM   #11
dalek
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That may work for Kmail or Mozilla mail to but it is the things like the GUI setting for KDE or Gnome that will not share the same way. The /home/<user>/.kde/* will not go over well. Gentoo users which compile from the source are different from say Redhat or Mandrake who make changes to the packages for their specific distro. There would likely be a difference between Gentoo and Linux from Scratch, even though both are from source.

I have read where quite a few people have tried sharing /home and it does not work well. Your deal with email will likely work, though I have not tried it, but the rest is going to have problems.

Keep regular back-ups if you try this. No need loosing data.

 
Old 04-02-2006, 03:08 PM   #12
muddywaters
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Thanks much randrake, will give that a go.

Sorry for butting in on your thread odiseo77. fwiw, I agree the others, sharing /home is not worth the possible headaches
 
Old 04-02-2006, 07:32 PM   #13
odiseo77
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by muddywaters
Thanks much randrake, will give that a go.

Sorry for butting in on your thread odiseo77. fwiw, I agree the others, sharing /home is not worth the possible headaches

It's ok. Now that I've read all this, I'm really discouraged about sharing the /home partition. BTW, I just finished downloading the FC5 dvd iso image; gonna install it right now

Thank you all for your help.
Regards.
 
  


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