How to install separate home partition

Colin Law clanlaw at
Sun Apr 29 20:47:01 UTC 2012

On 29 April 2012 21:13, Jim Byrnes <jf_byrnes at> wrote:
> On 04/29/2012 02:19 PM, Colin Law wrote:
>> On 29 April 2012 19:07, Jim Byrnes<jf_byrnes at>  wrote:
>>> On 04/29/2012 10:53 AM, Colin Law wrote:
>>>> On 29 April 2012 16:37, Jim Byrnes<jf_byrnes at>    wrote:
>>>>> I've been reading here about the benefits of a separate home partition.
>>>>> Since I wanted to put both Ubuntu 12.04 and Xunbutu 12.04 on my laptop
>>>>> I
>>>>> decided to try a separate home partition. I booted from the Ubuntu
>>>>> install
>>>>> CD and choose the Other choice from the installation options.
>>>>> I googled and found a how to to follow.
>>>>> I partitioned as follows:
>>>>> Primary - sda1 77GB ext4 mount point / for Ubuntu
>>>>> Extended:
>>>>> sda6 77GB ext4 mount point /home  for home
>>>>> sda7 77GB ext4                    for Xubuntu
>>>>> sda  86GB free space
>>>>> sda5 4GB swap
>>>>> I installed Ubuntu on sda1 and when it was done it did not recognize
>>>>> /home
>>>>> as my home partition.  I did some more googling and fixed that. Then I
>>>>> installed Xubuntu on sda7 and when I was done it did not recognize
>>>>> /home
>>>>> as
>>>>> the home partition.
>>>>> Booted from Ubuntu and using the disk utility on sda6 I see /home
>>>>> mounted.
>>>>> Booting from Xubuntu sda6 is not mounted. If I mount it it mounts at
>>>>> /media/(what looks like a UUID).
>>>>> The how to I followed only put Ubuntu, home and swap on the disk. Is
>>>>> there
>>>>> something else that needs to be done to add a second OS and share the
>>>>> home
>>>>> partition? I want to start all over so could someone tell me what I did
>>>>> wrong or point me to a reliable how to that covers my situation.
>>>> When you were installing you should have told the first one to use
>>>> sda6 with a mount point of /home and to format it.  When installing
>>>> the second you should again have said to use sda6 as /home but /not/
>>>> to format it.  Then it would have left it as it is.
>>>> Colin
>>> Thanks Colin, I'm starting to reinstall now.  One more question.  After
>>> installing Unbuntu and it comes time to pick a computer name and user
>>> name
>>> while installing Xumbuntu do I use the same names used on the Ubuntu
>>> install
>>> or does it even make a difference? The first time I used different ones.
>> I am not sure that it will ask on second one.  If it does then if you
>> want to use the same user on both (which should be safe I think) then
>> use the same one.
>> Did you realise that you can have both on the same install and choose
>> at logon time which to use?  Install ubuntu then
>> suso apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
>> to install the extra stuff for the xubuntu window manager.  At least I
>> think it is xubuntu-desktop.  Google should confirm that.  Then on the
>> logon screen click the ubuntu icon by the user name and Lubuntu should
>> be there aswell as ubuntu.
>> Colin
> Yes I realize that.  I've tried it in the past in a VM and the results were
> less than satisfying.  I have the space so I decided to do a full install of
> both.
> Things went better this time following your advice but it seems like Xubuntu
> still created it's own home.  After first installing Ubuntu and before
> installing Xunbutu I put a txt file in both Home and Documents on the Ubuntu
> side.  After installing Xubuntu and rebooting I can see that /home is
> mounted but I cannot see either one of the txt files I created in Unbutu.
>  Am I misunderstanding the concept of the shared /home? I should be able to
> see the txt files from either OS, shouldn't I?

It may be you are missing the knowledge that each user has their own
'home' directory in /home.  In nautilus (the file manager) click on
the little arrow to the left of where it says Home at the top.  That
should then show an icon for the complete file system and another
'home' which should be your home partition.  Click on that home and
you should see a folder for each user's 'home' folder with the name of
the user.  Strictly whenever we talk about a users home folder what we
really mean is that users folder within the /home directory (which is
a separate partition in your case).

If you want to check that you are in fact using your partition for
/home then open a terminal and type
and then you should see /home in the right hand column against
/dev/sda6 in the left.


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