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/home-partition configuration

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Am I correct in assuming that, if I had a separate /home partition, this would be addressable from LE2005, mdv2006 AND mdv2007? Thanks.


Yes, you're right. But I personly won't recommend it, you can get some trouble if your KDE (just an examble) not are the same version in all three Mandriva versions.

I've tried my self and I got some trouble with the desktop, I can't remember ecxactly what the problem was, but later on I always make a little /home partition on about 2 ot 3 GB for those systems I don't use very much, and make the "big" /home partition on the most used system writeable from the others.

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Common sense wise you should always make a separate /home partition. It should also be kept in mind that Temp can become extremely large when trying to burn DVDs which, remember, can be up to 4.3Gb. If that suddenly fills up /home then when you reboot you won't be able to get into your account and it thus becomes necessary to use something like a LiveCD , if you don't have another Linux to multi boot, to gain access to the partition to be able to delete the stuff in Temp. I learned that lesson a long long time ago, only in my case it was the .thumbnails that had 900Mb in it. (I am a professional Photographer and was dealing with thousands of images at the time). I recommend a /Home of 8->10Gb.


Orts is correct when he says you should make a separate /home for each version OS because of the problems he mentions. /swap is the only thing that can be commonly used by all all versions or other Linuxes. Just make one swap for the first Linux and when installing the second or more OSs don't make a swap for them. The OS will detect the first one made and will use it.


Cheers. John.

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Oh, of course you can use only one /home partition for as many linux-distros as you like without any problems - as long as you use different user accounts, e.g.



/home/user2 etc.

With only one user account the config files will get mixed to some point. Not really dramatic, as it can be easily fixed, but still a nasty problem for someone who is untrained in linux.

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. I recommend a /Home of 8->10Gb.


Surely the size of /home depends on the size of the hard drive and on what one wants to keep on it. Personally, I could probably manage with a /home of 10gig, because all of my personal files are on a separate /data partition. That partition currently has about 60gig on it and I don't "do" music or video. If someone has a lot of files, especially music or video files, that they want to keep and chooses to use the default locations in /home, then 10gig would probably be inadequate.



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I've never had a separate /home that is over 1GB, I keep all my data on a separate partition. This gives me all manner of flexibility that would be lost if all that other stuff were on /home. (And even my e-mail is linked to another partition)

Edited by polemicz
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Were I in your situation, here is what I would try:

- Create a separate home partition for each distro. One of them is "the master" /home (explained bellow).

- Assign each /home to their distro (in /etc/fstab files).

- Make sure you use the same UID and the same GID for your user accross all distributions.


The "master" home partition would be where you'd keep all common configuration/data. Thus, for all distributions for which the /home partition is not the "master" one:

- Mount the "master" home partition under /home/.master

- In your home directory just after initial setup:

you@localhost$ mkdir OLD
/home/you$ mv .ssh .vnc .mozilla .nautilus .screenrc .bashrc .bash_profile tmp Documents Maildir OLD/
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.ssh .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.vnc .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.mozilla .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.nautilus .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.screenrc .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.bashrc .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/.bash_profile .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/tmp .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/Documents .
/home/you$ ln -s ../.master/you/Maildir .

This is just an example adapted from my own home-directory. You'd have to adapt it to your files and dirs. The idea is to keep all that can be shared in a single place (the master home) and let problematic configuration files (gconf, gnome, kde...) distro-specific.




EDIT: now that I re-read it, I realize that a separate home partition is only needed for the "master" one; other distro don't need it to be separated.

Edited by theYinYeti
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What I had in mind was to reduce the amount of setting-up which is necessary whenever I go to a new distro, e.g. profiles, additional apps, and copying my scripts from the old distro to the new, etc, etc, etc. Clearly this is not as simple as I imagined, so I won't persue it further. Anyway, many thanks for all your help. :thumbs:

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I agree with Arctic. One /home partition is enough, just do NOT use the same user account in different distros under ANY circumstances- you will screw that account for sure.

The size of that /home partition is not important at all... if you run short of space, you just create a symlink to a folder in another partition, fix the permissions and now you have plenty of space again... :P

Edited by scarecrow
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