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Two OSs, one home directory? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on the same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO. It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot systems. Can this be done? A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home, can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware, ...

  1. #1

    Default Two OSs, one home directory?

    I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on the
    same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.

    It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    systems. Can this be done?

    A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware,
    I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    would it help the first question?

    TIA,

    Doug.
    --
    Registered Linux user No. 277548.
    (Good thing no knowledge is required.)
    Linux: in a world without fences, who needs Gates?
    Doug Laidlaw Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on the
    > same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.
    >
    > It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    > /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    > /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    > /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    > systems. Can this be done?
    >
    > A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    > can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware,
    > I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    > would it help the first question?
    Yes you can share the same /home directory between different
    distro's as long as both have support for the filesystem used.

    --
    Confucius: He who play in root, eventually kill tree.
    Registered with The Linux Counter. [url]http://counter.li.org/[/url]
    Slackware 9.0 Kernel 2.4.21 i686 (GCC) 3.3
    Uptime: 8 days, 21:31, 1 user, load average: 1.44, 1.20, 1.11

    David Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 12:14:28 +1000, Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    >
    > A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    > can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware,
    > I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    > would it help the first question?
    I would not call it /home.

    Sometimes different kde release levels will hurt. :)

    I have seperate partition, /accounts, mounted with different
    distro releases and distros.

    I use the /home of the distro during testing and installs.
    I then change the junk user's /home to /accounts/junk in /etc/passwd to
    see what kind of Murphy Law events occur. :(

    I can compare /home/junk's files with /accounts/junk to find
    the new features :)

    Bit Twister Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    David wrote:
    > Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    >> I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on
    >> the same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.
    >>
    >> It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    >> /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    >> /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    >> /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    >> systems. Can this be done?
    >>
    >> A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    >> can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am
    >> aware,
    >> I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    >> would it help the first question?
    >
    > Yes you can share the same /home directory between different
    > distro's as long as both have support for the filesystem used.
    >
    Thanks to you both. I suppose that I might get clashes between the (usually
    hidden) config files, although usually the part in the /home directory is
    not distro-specific.

    Doug.
    --
    Registered Linux user No. 277548.
    Linux: in a world without fences, who needs Gates?
    Doug Laidlaw Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on the
    > same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.
    >
    > It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    > /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    > /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    > /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    > systems. Can this be done?
    *IF* the filesystem is compatible for both OS's (no funky kernel
    differences in ext2 or reiserfs or whatever!), then you can mount the
    /home of Mandrake as /mnt/home under Debian. Then you can symbolically
    link /mnt/home/doug to /home/doug, *or* you could NFS export it and
    mount it directly. The NFS performance penalty should be small, and that
    way you don't have to worry about what symbolic links due to Doug's
    relative path.
    > A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    > can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware,
    > I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    > would it help the first question?
    You can mount filesystems, not directories *inside* a filesystem.
    Putting /home/doug on its own partition would work just fine, with the
    caveat of still requiring similar filesystems.

    Nico Kadel-Garcia Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    In article <5p49v-793.ln1dougshost.mydomain.org.au>,
    Doug Laidlaw <laidlawsmyaccess.com.au> writes:
    >
    >
    > I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on the
    > same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.
    >
    > It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    > /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    > /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    > /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    > systems. Can this be done?
    Yes. You can either mount Mandrake's /home partition at /home on Knoppix
    and use everything as-is; or you can mount the Mandrake /home partition
    somewhere else (say, /home2 or /home-mdk) and change the doug user's entry
    in /etc/passwd to point to the new location (say, /home2/doug) as the home
    directory. There are other variants possible, too (see below).

    Sharing home directories between distributions comes with several
    important caveats, though:

    - Both distributions' kernels must support the /home partition's
    filesystem. This includes potential filesystem version differences. At
    worst, you can work around such problems by recompiling the kernel and
    using the same kernel in both distributions, but this extreme action
    isn't usually required, at least not with distributions that use similar
    kernels to begin with.
    - The user IDs (UIDs) of the users who should share home directories must
    be identical across the distributions. For instance, if doug is UID 500
    in one distribution but UID 1002 in the other, problems will ensue. If
    this is an issue, you can edit Knoppix's /etc/passwd to change doug's
    UID to match that used on Mandrake. If you revert to the "underlying"
    /home directory, though, you'll need to reverse this change or change
    the ownership on the files in the /home/doug directory.
    - Group IDs (GIDs) should also match across distributions, although this
    isn't as critical as UIDs.
    - Many programs rely on configuration files stored in users' home
    directories. If the matching programs are at different versions, or
    sometimes if critical files referenced by the configuration files are
    stored in different locations, wackiness can ensue. Note that if
    Distribution B changes the files created by Distribution A, when you
    switch back, things may not work. Thus, before you try this, I recommend
    you back up the entire /home/doug directory tree so that you can restore
    the defaults if something goes badly wrong. Be sure to back up the dot
    files and directories, since those are the configuration files.
    > A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is /home,
    > can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am aware,
    > I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own partition,
    > would it help the first question?
    AFAIK, there's no way to mount only one subdirectory from a partition.
    You could certainly put /home/doug on its own partition and mount only
    it, but for a single-user system there'd be little or no reason to do
    this rather than mount the whole /home partition. If it's a multi-user
    system but you only want to share one user's directory between
    distributions, you can still mount the whole /home directory elsewhere
    and change the /etc/passwd entry for the user to point to the new
    location. Another option would be to mount the /home directory elsewhere
    and then use the --bind option to mount to make a subdirectory available
    elsewhere, as in:

    mount --bind /home-mdk/doug /home/doug

    This makes the contents of /home-mdk/doug available at /home/doug. This
    might be handy if you've got a lot of paths in configuration files or the
    like hard-coded to refer to /home/doug and you didn't want to share all
    the home directories across distributions.

    --
    Rod Smith, [email]rodsmithrodsbooks.com[/email]
    [url]http://www.rodsbooks.com[/url]
    Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
    Rod Smith Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 02:47:33 +0000, Bit Twister wrote:
    > Sometimes different kde release levels will hurt. :)
    You can solve this problem by having different KDE configurations for
    KNOPPIX and Mandrake. Just rename your Mandrake .kde directory to
    ..kde-mandrake and your KNOPPIX .kde directory to .kde-knoppix. Then you
    have to create a symlink by a /etc/init.d script.

    Wolfgang Fischer Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Two OSs, one home directory?

    Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    > David wrote:
    >
    >> Doug Laidlaw wrote:
    >>> I am running Mandrake 9.0 and investigating Knoppix Debian. Both are on
    >>> the same computer and boot from Mandrake's LILO.
    >>>
    >>> It would be convenient for Debian's user "doug" to access Mandrake's
    >>> /home/doug as if it were a home directory. At the moment, Mandrake's
    >>> /home, which is on a separate partition, is accessed by Debian through
    >>> /mnt. Basically I want the user "doug" to be recognized equally by bot
    >>> systems. Can this be done?
    >>>
    >>> A related question (or is it?) Given that Mandrake's partition is
    >>> /home,
    >>> can I mount /home/doug rather than /home in Debian? As far as I am
    >>> aware,
    >>> I have to mount the partition. If I put /home/doug on its own
    >>> partition, would it help the first question?
    >>
    >> Yes you can share the same /home directory between different
    >> distro's as long as both have support for the filesystem used.
    >>
    > Thanks to you both. I suppose that I might get clashes between the
    > (usually hidden) config files, although usually the part in the /home
    > directory is not distro-specific.
    >
    > Doug.
    Just found my first clash. Using the same Mail/ directory with two
    different versions of Kmail, one says that the other has fouled the indexes
    up.

    Doug.
    --
    Registered Linux user No. 277548.
    Linux: in a world without fences, who needs Gates?
    Doug Laidlaw Guest

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