Multiple Distros - One /home

Avi Greenbury avismailinglistaccount at
Fri Nov 6 15:39:59 UTC 2009

Cristopher Thomas <crisnoh at> wrote:
> How much trouble would I be making for myself if I attempted to have a
> shared /home partition for a dual boot of two separate distros?  Is
> this even possible?

It's unpredictable, and depends on how similar the distros are. The
more similar, the lower the chance of trouble, but I'd still not
suggest it's a fantastic idea.

What're you storing? When I had multiple distros on the same box I used
to have three partitions that were mounted at ~/work ~/media and
~/stuff on each distro. Anything I wanted across them was in these, and
so there were no config file issues.

> Separate question:  is there documentation available that would tell
> me how to go about moving my current /home to a separate partition?

Quite likely through Google, but it's a pretty simple process:
- Boot in single-user mode
- Create new partition
- Move data from wherever /home is now to wherever /home will be
- Edit /etc/fstab to mount the new home partition at /home

Note that if you don't delete the data under /home and then mount
something there, it will sit there using disk space, and wont be
accessible (for deletion) until /home is unmounted.
I'd be tempted, then, to copy it across, test it, and then umount /home
and delete what was under it. But I'm paranoid.

You shouldn't *need* to be in single-user mode, just logged in as root.

Avi Greenbury ;)

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