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Old 09-02-2005, 05:06 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: Slackware-current
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Multiple dists - sharing /home ???

Hello guys! I have a question for you that I would love if you could answer me: to those who uses more than 1 distribution, do you often share the same /home folder between them all? I mean, using the same partition mounted as /home for more than 1 Linux distribution. What are the advantages and what kind of problems may I get with this?

As you know, the distributions have different software packages and the programs installed are different. So I think that each "gnome" (or "kde") of each distribution will have some changes at their menus. And if I use the latest version of gnome/kde/any other graphics manager in a distribution and I don't use the latest in another?

I am a lot confuse about this so if you can help me, I will tahnk you so much!

Thanks for the attention...
Old 09-02-2005, 05:12 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu with IceWM
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The advantage:

Preferences get saved for both distros.

The disadvantage:

Sometimes preferences conflict or make things weird.

My experience was less than ideal. First of all, I was using KDE on one distro and Gnome on the other. KDE defaults to putting the trash can on the desktop. Gnome defaults to putting the trash can in the panel. So when I logged into Gnome, all of a sudden, there was a trash can (with no icon, mind you), sitting on my desktop. Also, all of a sudden, a whole bunch of KDE programs were showing up in my Gnome menu with no icons and a whole bunch of Gnome programs in my KDE with no icons.

Now, granted, this is probably more of a two-desktops than a two-distros issue, but you can see how it might get sticky with various preferences and settings. I think your best bet is to have a separate partition (mine's FAT32, because I share it with Windows as well) to share files but to keep the settings and /home separate for each distro.

It won't be disastrous, but it can be a bit weird sharing all the settings and preferences.
Old 09-02-2005, 07:56 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
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You could safely have one /home partition, without conflicts, in only one way than I can think of. That way is: you must have a different username for each distro. Each username will have it's own configs, preferences, etc, not associated with any other distro.

As long as you remember which username to use with which distro, no problems. If you try to login with a username used in another distro, of course login will fail because the files in /etc won't recognize incorrect login names.

If you try to use the same username for more than one distro, user preference files from the first distro installed will probably be overwritten by the second distro. That's when all hell breaks loose.
Old 09-02-2005, 08:03 PM   #4
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Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu with IceWM
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What I do is have separate /home folders for each distro. Then, I just copy over /home/username/.mozilla and /home/username/.mozilla-thunderbird. The rest of the preferences and settings I manually configure.


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