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Old 08-13-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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Is it possible to redirect move /home to my NTFS / vfat XP-My Docs partition ?

Is it possible to redirect move /home to my NTFS / vfat XP-My Docs partition that I have used for ages?


I've made several attempts, but they aren't doing what I need...

(also posted this to my local LUG - :

"Can it be done? I've sepnt a few odd hours last coupla days trying to get it. Using ubuntu 8.04.1

I dual-boot XP and ubuntu. In XP I have used two partitions for YEARS. One for OS and one for redirecting My Documents to. Tried putting folder called "home" in the root of that partition. Folder called "kc" in that. Put all /home/kc/.system.files and all in the "kc" folder... and then put my Windows My Documents folder in with them as well in a folder I usually call docs. Told XP where to find "docs" in its new location, said "Hi" to all the .-files... they looked cozy enough in there...

I want to be able to be one or two clicks away from the same documents in either OS. But ALSO, as I use ubuntu/.Linux more and more... (prolly at 75% ubuntu for now but I won't ever stop dual-booting due to employment-reasons/flexibility... either way,) I wanna keep-keeping my My Documents on a separate partition but still keep my .configuration files from Linux in a safe spot, too. I was hoping to keep them both in the same safe spot.

As it stands thus far, my attempts at

sudo mount /dev/sda2 /home


sudo mount /dev/sda2 /docs
ln -s /docs /home

neither of them works.
Gnome tells me it cant find the /home/kc dir when it boots.
I can CTRL-ALT-Fx to get to the command-line and manually delete the /home-empty link or remount the /docs partition and I can get it to work... but not be persistent past a reboot.

Tried putting the mount in fstab, but I found some gibberish guid references in there telling me even fstab has gone "complicated" now... sheesh!

Tried some permissions-tweaking, too... but I burned out for the time-being and thought I would ask the Collective... ;-)

thx in advance for your help and ideas...

Old 08-14-2008, 12:03 AM   #2
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Mounting a partition as home is usually done though your /etc/fstab file. Here is mine:
crashedagain@Desktop:~$ cat /etc/fstab

# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/hda3       /               ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro 0       1

/dev/hda4 /home ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0
#/dev/hda4 /media/hda4 ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0

/dev/hda6       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0
/dev/hdd        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/sda        /media/usb0     auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0

/dev/dvd /dvd  iso9660  defaults,ro,user,noexec,noauto  0  0

/dev/hda1 /media/hda1 auto auto,users,exec,umask=000,ro 0 0
/dev/hda5 /media/hda5 ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0
/dev/hdb7 /media/hdb7 ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0
/dev/hdb8 /media/hdb8 ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0

The operating system (Debian) is on hda3 and the original /home folder created at installation time on hda3 remains intact but the line
/dev/hda4 /home ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0
mounts the partition hda4 as /home instead. If for some reason I want to access the original /home folder, I have to edit the fstab file to use the next line instead which mounts hda4 as /media/hda4 instead of /home. The system then reverts to using the original /home folder. There is no other way to access this folder.

However, your /home partition must contain a lot of the config files for your linux system. I think it would be safer for these to be on a Linux only partition.... either in the existing /home folder or as a separate partition. For easy access to your shared XP "My Documents" partition, just create a symlink called DOCUMENTS in your /home partition or on your desktop (or both). In my case this would be
ln -s /media/hda1/MY\ DOCUMENTS /home/DOCUMENTS
. Note the odd syntax to handle the blank in the "MY DOCUMENTS" filename. Easiest way to get this right is to
ls /media/hda1/MY<tab>
then let the system finish the syntax for you.

Last edited by CrashedAgain; 08-14-2008 at 12:06 AM. Reason: typo
Old 08-14-2008, 12:49 AM   #3
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kc sits on the partition that is currently your home partition. So if you use a different partition, there won't by any kc there. You'll have to copy kc to the NTFS partition first. But IMHO it's a very bad idea. NTFS does not have the permissions system that linux uses. Apart from any impracticalities, it would basically be compromising your system's security. I think it is much better to create an NTFS folder in your home directory and mount your partition there.

Last edited by jay73; 08-14-2008 at 07:28 AM.


home, move, ntfs, vfat

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