LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 01-27-2017, 06:51 AM   #1
Grabby
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2016
Posts: 67

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Sharing the /home partition between two Linux distros?


I am going to install on my computer two distros: one Arch-based (Manjaro), one Ubuntu-based. Both will have the XFCE desktop environment. My question is: can I share the /home directory between these two distros, or will I encounter problems?

The advantage for sharing is that I would have exactly the same desktop environment in the two distros, with the same settings. Also, the applications on the two distros will have the same settings. To me this sounds like a big plus.

What do you think about this? Any caveats?

Thanks
 
Old 01-27-2017, 07:17 AM   #2
BW-userx
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Somewhere in my head.
Distribution: Slackware FreeBSD Win10 MX
Posts: 9,607

Rep: Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071
yes and no. First they got a play nice together. I have Void Linux and Slackware running on the same home/user sharing fluxbox, and xfce configs. But when I tried to get Debian in on the action. It didn't want to play. being a selfish little brat I got rid of it. Mostly Fluxbox, seeings how I have more apps in Slack, then do the same where I go back to Void, all I do is run menu maker to update the menu when I am in either one, this is not a drawback of any kind.

Not having the same apps should not and has not been an issue with me in using either one, switching back and fourth between the two. XFCE4 sees what is in /usr/share/applications and loads them in the menu. Fluxbox I already went over.


just make sure you change everything in your home/user to the same UID as the other one. or you will not be able to log in one of them.

so check your UIDs before doing this to be sure if they do not already have the same then their is room to give them both the same UID. UID has to match between the more than one Linux OS, (maybe Solaris or other Unix based OS'e even)

as far as Arch and Ubuntututututu play nicely together. That might be a trial and error situation to find out.

I do forget what the actual problem Debian gave me. It did have something to do with getting the home partition (account and WM) to wrk well with each other, which was becoming a pain in my arse. Seeings I don't actually need 3 Linux distros. I opt out of it and stuck with 2.

actually, as long as neither OS is using the .xinit file to fire up stuff, then you should not have any conflict on that part of this type of setup.

you're just "cloning" DE/WM between the two is all.


Code:
usermod -u <NEWUID> <LOGIN>    
groupmod -g <NEWGID> <GROUP>
find / -user <OLDUID> -exec chown -h <NEWUID> {} \;
find / -group <OLDGID> -exec chgrp -h <NEWGID> {} \;
usermod -g <NEWGID> <LOGIN>

Last edited by BW-userx; 01-27-2017 at 07:28 AM.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-27-2017, 07:31 AM   #3
fatmac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2011
Location: Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants Border, UK
Posts: 3,340

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Personally, I just stick with the one distro, (AntiX), & I wonder why you would want to run 2 distros with all the same programs, etc. ?!

If it is for evaluation, I'd use a separate /data directory for files you want to share.
 
Old 01-27-2017, 02:41 PM   #4
ondoho
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2013
Posts: 13,400
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655Reputation: 3655
why not, try it. if they both use the same desktop environment, and the config file syntax doesn't change between versions.
there might, however, be a few files that are very specific to the environment currently booted. i think the Xorg server has some sort of fingerprint files?
i think it will break sooner or later, and good luck hunting down the culprit when it does.

but from a common sense point of view i must say i'm 100% with the previous poster.
 
Old 01-27-2017, 03:27 PM   #5
suicidaleggroll
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2010
Location: Colorado
Distribution: OpenSUSE, CentOS
Posts: 5,573

Rep: Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137Reputation: 2137
I've never understood the point of multi-booting 2+ Linux distros, especially when you just plan on having the same programs and settings on both of them. Why? If you're trying them out or want an isolated spot for testing or for a specific project, use a VM. It's easier, faster, more efficient, and if you screw something up it won't damage the host, unlike accidentally borking a partition, MBR, grub, etc. when setting up a multi-boot system.
 
Old 01-27-2017, 04:32 PM   #6
jailbait
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
Posts: 7,865

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
I've never understood the point of multi-booting 2+ Linux distros, especially when you just plan on having the same programs and settings on both of them. Why?
I use the second distribution as a backup in the same way that a rescue DVD is used. Also when I install a new distribution or a new release of a distribution I install it over the older of my two distributions. That way I can upgrade at a leisurely pace without having a small crisis where I temporarily have a distribution which does not have everything working satisfactorily.

-------------------------
Steve Stites
 
Old 01-27-2017, 04:39 PM   #7
jailbait
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Blue Ridge Mountain
Distribution: Linux Mint 17, Debian 8
Posts: 7,865

Rep: Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311Reputation: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabby View Post
I am going to install on my computer two distros: one Arch-based (Manjaro), one Ubuntu-based. Both will have the XFCE desktop environment. My question is: can I share the /home directory between these two distros, or will I encounter problems?
That works most of the time. Where you will occasionally have problems is with the software configuration files that are stored in /home/user. You can run into conflicts between the configurations set up by the two different distributions.

I get around this potential problem by sharing /home/user/data and putting all of my personal data in /home/user/data. I do this for every user on my system except root i.e. every user has their own /home/user/data partition.

----------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 01-28-2017 at 06:39 PM.
 
Old 01-27-2017, 11:59 PM   #8
Brains
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2009
Distribution: Debian testing
Posts: 987

Rep: Reputation: 260Reputation: 260Reputation: 260
I played with this many years back, perhaps things are different now. With a lot of fiddling and lots of invested time I was able to make it happen, till updates in one OS would screw up settings for the other with different version(s) of the same packages, something like that, all I remember is updating would cause me to invest a lot more time.

As previously mentioned, I migrated to keeping data in a data partition. And because SSD drives are becoming the norm, there is more reason to keep data in the "Data" drive, to keep writing to the SSD to a minimum. Might be best to start getting into that habit now.

Windows 10 makes it easy to move your default save directories to the mechanical drive, just one click, of course it is best to use NTFS file system for the data drive if Windows is involved. Then, in your Linux, you delete your /home/user/Download folder, and soft link the Downloads folder in the data drive created by Windows to it. You can link all your folders in /home/user of all your many Linux to the same folders that Windows uses, including adding custom folders.

The advantage:
1: You don't risk upsetting user settings in the /home/user directory of each OS.
2: All your data is readily available from any OS, not spread out between many.
3: All your data is consolidated in one place, making it easier to do what most people fail to do, "BACK UP YOUR DATA"
4: You can shrink the size of your root partition if data is not stored within, making it easier to keep updated images of them in case you screw things up, avoiding having to reinstall, just paste the image, update it and make another image and carry on screwing it up without fear of loosing Data.
5: Even if you chose not to back up your operating systems, you won't come crying in these forums when you render it useless and want your data that you didn't back up yet.
 
Old 01-28-2017, 11:28 AM   #9
DavidMcCann
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: PCLinuxOS, Xubuntu
Posts: 5,438

Rep: Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894Reputation: 1894
I don't think you'll have problems with software configuration files. I had a home partition that was created with Fedora, then used with Debian, then with CentOS. If two distros have very different versions of the same program, that use different configuration files, then each one will use its own and ignore the other. But if funny things do happen, at least you'll know why!
 
Old 01-28-2017, 11:45 AM   #10
BW-userx
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Somewhere in my head.
Distribution: Slackware FreeBSD Win10 MX
Posts: 9,607

Rep: Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071
Handbrake: I got two different versions - one each - they do not conflict with each other They chnaged the GUI in the newer one. But they both still pick up where I left off in my other distro.

If I am running it in one distro the settings stay the same when I use it in the different distro.

Just an example.

You should be ok, like I said if the two play nice together then .. learning experiences are good.
 
Old 01-28-2017, 12:28 PM   #11
pan64
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2012
Location: Hungary
Distribution: debian/ubuntu/suse ...
Posts: 13,586

Rep: Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346Reputation: 4346
you may have problems if you have different applications/configuration or "anything" on the two desktops. And that may happen when you install something only here or there. There can be version conflicts too.
In case of any conflict (based on anything) you will not be able to go further....
 
Old 01-28-2017, 12:56 PM   #12
hydrurga
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2008
Location: Pictland
Distribution: Linux Mint 19.1 MATE
Posts: 8,018
Blog Entries: 5

Rep: Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872Reputation: 2872
I personally wouldn't do it, but if you're in an exploratory mood and don't mind regularly snapshotting your /home directory so that you can revert in case of problems, why don't you give it a go and let us know how you get on?

I for one would be interested in the results.
 
Old 01-28-2017, 12:59 PM   #13
BW-userx
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Somewhere in my head.
Distribution: Slackware FreeBSD Win10 MX
Posts: 9,607

Rep: Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071Reputation: 2071
the only real thing is beer. Beyond that I have no idea.
Though I have not had any complete stops can't use that because my other distro is ver 6 and this one is ver 5 ... The programs are in your system side. Like what has been stated before. The only real conflits you MAY experience is whatever config files are in you home that may conflict with the other.

as a user of two distros sharing everything between them that I have installed on both, (as Slack has more installed on it then Void) I personally have not had any problems..

The problems I did have was way back when I first went against the norm (no two distros sharing same home because it will not work you will have problems DON'T DO IT people that kept telling me not to)

well I did it anyways, from what I learned in what works and what does not work. I have it working now on my laptop...

so to the negatives of life and think outside the box. truth is found in seeking it.

Last edited by BW-userx; 01-28-2017 at 01:01 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] sharing /home and swap partitions between several linux distros htamayo Linux - Newbie 4 06-08-2011 09:09 PM
two different Linux distributions sharing the same \home partition? startover Linux - General 10 01-24-2011 11:21 AM
Sharing /home partition between distros naz37 Linux - Software 12 03-10-2010 11:31 AM
Sharing a home folder between 2 Linux distros Jongi Fedora 1 10-26-2005 05:38 PM
Is it possible to have two distros sharing the same /home partition felicehome Linux - General 4 05-21-2004 01:27 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:49 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration