Ubuntu – How to think about before using one partition as /home for two different systems


My situation is as follows:

Ubuntu with GNOME-Shell installed on /dev/sda3, with it's own /home directory.

Lubuntu installed on /dev/sda5, with it's own /home directory.

Data files (music, movies, stuff for school) stored on /dev/sda4.

I use both Ubuntu and Lubuntu and I would like to keep this setup of two different partitions, instead of one partition with both Ubuntu and lubuntu-desktop installed on it.

I would like to use /dev/sda4 as a /home partition for both Ubuntu and Lubuntu. This would have quite some advantages:

  • Applications in Lubuntu and Ubuntu would always be up-to-date with each other because they share the same ~/.config directory
  • Right now, I usually save stuff in /dev/sda4, but as this is not my real /home directory, I usually have to refer to /dev/sda4 in a lot of applications when e.g. saving something. This annoys me, I'd like to just be able to save it in my /home directory.

In this question, I've read the second and third answer, about problems that might appear. But as I'm planning to use both Ubuntu 12.04 and Lubuntu 12.04, I doubt that there will be any problems, as these distributions are very much alike, and they are released on approximately the same date (so it's not like using Ubuntu 12.04 and Lubuntu 10.04).

Is there anything I should be aware of before implementing this setup?

Would there be any consequences, other than the ones I just mentioned?

Is there a way to get approximately the same results, in a safer way?

Best Answer

  • You should be just fine sharing a home directory as you are. My opinion would be that you are sort of going about it the hard way, I would use a single install with both lxde and ubuntu-desktop, but if it works for you, well that is the advantage of Linux, you have choice.

    You alternates would be it either use a shared data directory, and sync config files as needed or use a unique user name for each distro (with the same /home).

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