[lug] The issues of separate /home partitions, or maybe just freedesktop/SuSE problems?

Collins Richey crichey at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 19:29:03 MDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:28 PM, Chris Riddoch <riddochc at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi, everyone.  First, sorry for the length - I'm including details I
> believe may be relevant to diagnosing this issue.
> I once heard the advice of using separate partitions for /home in
> order to ease upgrades - the / partition can be wiped and reinstalled
> from scratch, and the personal data on /home is unaffected by a fresh
> install.  It seemed like a great idea.  I'm wondering, though, if this
> might be responsible for some really broken behavior.

The answer is: yes, reusing a /home partition can be responsible for
some incredibly broken behavior due to various hidden files that don't
upgrade gracefully.

I always have a multi-boot setup, and what I do is the following.

1. I create a "common" partition for all my data that I want to share
between  distros.

2. I install the distro and let it use the /home in the root partition.

3. Then I mount the common partition at /home/collins/common in the
new home partition and create links to this data in the new home
partition. I keep a script in the common with all the necessary
directory links.

4. From time to time I sweep off any non-hidden files and directoreis
(except for ~/Desktop) that inadvertently got created in the real

5. Occasionally I need to migrate a few changes from .bashrc, .vimrc,
etc.  from one of the other releases.

That way gnome, kde, firefox, opera, etc are using hidden files
appropriate to the new release rather than getting confused by the old
behavior. I also keep a current bookmarks.html  file in the common to
import into the browser for my new release.

That means no unexpected behavior caused by mixing old/new stuff.


Collins Richey
     If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries
     of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for.

More information about the LUG mailing list