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Old 03-09-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Distribution: Debian 9 "Stretch", Arch
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common home partition: where mount?

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.)
Old 03-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #2
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I used to have the same kind of setup: Arch Linux and OpenSuse lived together on my machine, like this:
/dev/sda1        /boot for both OS'es
/dev/sda2        swap space
/dev/sda4        common data directory, contains all my personal stuff
/dev/sda5        root for Arch
/dev/sda6        root for SUSE
Both my Arch and my SUSE fstab files contained the line
/dev/sda4	/home/mh/doc	ext4      	rw,relatime,data=ordered	0 2
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.

Another user asked a similar question over here.

Last edited by mennohellinga; 03-09-2013 at 11:28 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #3
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I use a partition like that as well and it works very well I cant think of a better place to put it.
Old 03-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
Philip Lacroix
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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.

Create the mount point:
# mkdir /home/shared_data
Edit /etc/fstab and mount:
/dev/sdxx /home/shared_data ext3 defaults 1 2
Change owner group and permissions:
# chown :user /home/shared_data
# chmod 770 /home/shared_data
# ls -ld /home/shared_data
drwxrwx---  2 root   user  4096 Mar  9 17:39 /home/shared_data
Create link:
# ln -s -T /home/shared_data /home/user/shared_data
# 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!

Kind regards,


Last edited by Philip Lacroix; 03-09-2013 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 03-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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Many thanks to all. Your input is reassuring.
Old 03-10-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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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.

It looks like this
markus@samsung:~$ df -h
Dateisystem    Größe Benutzt Verf. Verw% Eingehängt auf
/dev/sda5        25G     19G  4,4G   82% /
/dev/sda6        20G     16G  3,1G   84% /home
/dev/sda10       11G    8,2G  2,2G   80% /usr/local
/dev/sda7        60G     55G  1,6G   98% /usr/local/public
/dev/sda8        60G     37G   20G   65% /usr/local/vm
tmpfs           2,0G    1,7M  2,0G    1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3        98G     49G   50G   50% /usr/local/win7
markus@samsung:~$ ls -lh /usr/local/public/
insgesamt 107M
drwxr-xr-x  9 root   root  4,0K Okt 19 14:55 ExtPlatte/
drwxr-xr-x  7 root   root  4,0K Okt 12 16:21 bkp/
-rw-r--r--  1 root   root  107M Mär 29  2012 geocaching_mrz_12.tgz
drwx------  2 root   root   16K Nov  3  2011 lost+found/
drwxr-xr-x 11 markus users  12K Okt  7 21:21 markus/
markus@samsung:~$ ls /usr/local/public/markus/
Doc/  Dokumente/  Downloads/  Geocaching/  MeineBilder/  Musik/  Podcasts/  Programmierung/  Videos/

Last edited by markush; 03-10-2013 at 08:00 AM.
Old 03-10-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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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.
Old 03-10-2013, 04:33 PM   #8
John VV
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I have been using /opt/DATA for years to share a drive between OS's
the user id is the fun part

some distros start at 500 others at 1000

there is nothing wrong with the home folder
common everyday mount places are


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