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Re: Sharing file systems

On Sun, 2006-03-19 at 15:02 -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
> On Sunday 19 March 2006 12:41, Jeff Vian wrote:
> >On Sun, 2006-03-19 at 17:30 +0530, Sumeet Pal Singh wrote:
> >> HI
> >> I have ubuntu 5.10 on my system and using FC3 since it was released.
> >> I tried to install FC4 on my system by sharing the swap and /home
> >> partition between FC4 and ubuntu. The installation went well. I did
> >> not install KDE in FC4.
> >> I was well aware of permission screw ups that this could lead to,
> >> hence I did not create any user (The UID and GID of root is
> >> preserved across Linux distros)
> >>
> >> I booted in as root and created a new user with UID and GID same as
> >> on ubuntu.
> >> Now I booted in GNOME and it was completely configured!!!! Moreover
> >> gaim started and signed me in to all my accounts!!! This was first
> >> time login...
> >>
> >> My question is that can is sharing /home okay for a long run or will
> >> it lead to problems.
> >> Also can other file systems like /usr be shared along with this and
> >> if it can be  then under what restrictions??
> >> If any one has done this please let me know.
As long as the filesystems are compatible anything can be accessed.
There is a _major_ caveat with sharing though.  

Directories containing the programs, libraries, and configs may break
things quickly.  /lib, /bin, /sbin, and their counterparts in /usr would
likely not be good things to share since the binaries may not be
compatible.  Similarly, /etc could cause serious configuration problems.

I don't think I would try sharing any of the system directories between

> >
> >AFAIK there should be no problems with sharing of /home. It is done
> > all the time by many of us.
> >
> >You already took care of the issue of UID/GID values and that is the
> >only thing I have ever had problems with in sharing /home between
> >systems.
> There is one caveat I'd toss out Jeff, and thats that the options for 
> setting up a default ext3 system ARE different between FC stuffs, and 
> debian stuffs.  In my case, the exact same version number of e2fsck 
> (1.35) refuses to pass or even check, the other installs ext3 
> filesystems.  So dual booting between FC4 and debian 3.1r1 is at best a 
> pita.

Good point, and one I overlooked.  I just assumed that ext3 was ext3.  I
never anticipated a difference between distributions.
Thanks for the pointer, Gene.  Filesystem compatibility is a must for
sharing a partition or even for accessing the other distribution's

I have not used Debian so would not have seen that previously.

> I'm next going to put Ubuntu-5.10 on that box in place of FC, so maybe 
> that will be self healing.

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