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I would like to install two Linux distros on my desktop PC; Fedore10 and openSUSE 11. For this, I have created two ext3 partitions and one swap partition on my ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Newbie blnl's Avatar
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    Question [SOLVED] Two distros sharing home partition.


    I would like to install two Linux distros on my desktop PC; Fedore10 and openSUSE 11. For this, I have created two ext3 partitions and one swap partition on my System drive.
    On my Data drive I have created one home partition, which I intend to use for both Fedora and openSUSE. Since I would like to have the same GNOME settings (both distros will be using GNOME interface), FireFox bookmarks, Evolution email account, etc., I intend to use the same user name in both distros.

    Is something like this possible?
    What kind of problems I can expect with such a configuration?

    Thanks,
    Boris
    Fedora_20@Dell_Latitude_E7440
    Ubuntu_14.04_LTS@HP_Compaq_DC7100

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    If you want identical settings then I think you should be OK. One thing you need to make sure is the user id is identical otherwise you will find you don't have access from both OS.

    Personally I keep the home folders separate (but on the same partition) ... so I create a /home/distro/username home folder. During the install I only setup root and swap then mount partitions and cp -a the information across. I keep genuine user data - photos etc on a separate partition rather than in my home area.

    But you can set your system up how you like

  3. #3
    Linux User saivin's Avatar
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    Let me try to understand you.
    1. You will install one distro.
    2. During installation it will ask if we would like additional partition for /home, /var, /usr etc.
    3. You choose a partition or seperate harddrive as /home.
    4. You complete the installation and are ready.
    5. Now you install another distro.
    6. Choose to have seperate /home instead of inside the / (same as before).
    7. But as you already have created such seperate /home created in your earlier installation, you will not format the drive this time.
    8. Instead you only inform the installer to mount that seperate partition as /home.
    9. You are having same desktops (GNOME) and same user account, same mail and other settings...

    You want to know if this is possible and the seperately mounted /home will be accessible from both distros as if its their own /home directory. Is that what you want?

    Frankly, I don't know. Have never tried this. I do have a shared partition where I keep all my data but have not shared /home itself? Will subscribe to this thread to see what the seniors have to say about this.
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    Just it can be done. The response above this is how to do it. You should be fine but you might get someminor issues (different versions of the same program, so possible different personal config files). If you pick distro's of the same age (release date) you should'nt see an issues.


    I share /home (well it network mounted) and a /share parition that holds all my extra apps (Java stuff, OpenOffice, Acrobat etc) and not had an issue yet. I'd say go ahead and do it.
    In a world without walls and fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

  6. #5
    Linux Newbie blnl's Avatar
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    Smile

    OK I will do it!
    Thank you all for your opinions and suggestions.

    You may wander why I would want to do this. The reason is simple, I still did not make up my mind on which distro I like the best.
    Currently I'm using openSUSE, which is also the first distro I ever installed. It took quite some time to set it up to suits my needs (and I'm still not finished). When trying another distro I can't spend so much time on setting it up. The new distro must inherit my current settings.

    By the way, I already made up my mind on using GNOME . I don't see my self switching to KDE soon.
    Fedora_20@Dell_Latitude_E7440
    Ubuntu_14.04_LTS@HP_Compaq_DC7100

  7. #6
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    I suggest you install the second OS and only create a root partition for it, existing swap partition will be detected and can be used (unless you need suspend to disk). /home from the install will be on the root partition, make sure you have the user id set the same as your SuSE setup.
    After the installation is complete, modify /etc/fstab to mount the home partition ... after restart you should have the results you want. Doing things that way you are less likely to overwrite the existing home partition information by accident .

    It also probably worth doing a cp -a of the home folder for your SuSE setup before you install the second OS, that way if things get screwed up you can always copy it back.

  8. #7
    Administrator MikeTbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan183 View Post
    I suggest you install the second OS and only create a root partition for it, existing swap partition will be detected and can be used (unless you need suspend to disk). /home from the install will be on the root partition, make sure you have the user id set the same as your SuSE setup.
    After the installation is complete, modify /etc/fstab to mount the home partition ... after restart you should have the results you want. Doing things that way you are less likely to overwrite the existing home partition information by accident .

    It also probably worth doing a cp -a of the home folder for your SuSE setup before you install the second OS, that way if things get screwed up you can always copy it back.
    I concur!
    This is the way I do it, after messing with it one too many times you just learn how to get it right.
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  9. #8
    Linux Newbie blnl's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks Jonathan183, this is just the info I was looking for.
    Fedora_20@Dell_Latitude_E7440
    Ubuntu_14.04_LTS@HP_Compaq_DC7100

  10. #9
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Glad to help can you mark the thread solved

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