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Re: Advice managing home directories

Tod Merley wrote:
On 9/24/06, P Jones <deerfieldtech gmail com> wrote:
On 9/24/06, Andrew Robinson <awrobinson-ml nc rr com> wrote:
> I'm looking for advice on managing my home directories on my home
> network. I have various flavors of mostly Fedora on various computers
> and sometimes on various partitions on the same computer. I'm trying to > figure out the most convenient way to combine what's common between them
> with what's unique to each installation.
> It would be trivial if I could put all the common stuff in a single
> directory, like a "My Documents" in Windoze. I could NFS-mount from my
> main server and link that directory into each home directory.
> However, a number of applications seem to want put their configuration
> and data in dot directories directly in the home directory. jpilot and
> thunderbird are two examples. At this point I am identifying these
> applications and creating links. The more applications and the more
> installations, the more tedious and error-prone this approach becomes.
> Is there a better way?
> Thanks!
> Andrew Robinson


I can tell you what I do with my small linux/sometimes Windows
network, although I can't tell from your post exactly what you're
trying to do with "common stuff". It sounds like you're thinking about
things in a Windows kind of way (no offense).

Anyway, I have a server that I put all my home directories on and
share by NFS. I used to use NIS, but for the few numbers of users and
machines it is unnecessary (and all of my workstations run FC5). I
mount the home directories either using fstab entries or with
automount. I put a common docs directory in my home directory and
share it by NFS and SMB, and then link to it in each home directory. I
have a cron job that backs up the home directory on the server every
night. Since the home directries are on the server I can shut off the
workstations at night.

I use SME server (a RHEL based server distribution). I make sure that
users on the workstations have the same UID/GIDs as on the server
(very important for NFS). Although using NFS on SME isn't built in, it
can be done effectively in small networks that don't see a whole lot
of change. Most importantly GIDs are the same as FC.

But I'm still curious about your noting the location of the hidden
application directories in the home directory.


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This seems vaguely related to something I´m trying to do.
I´ve just (finally) successfully installed a dual-boot configuration with both Kubuntu and Fedora Care 5 on a 15gb hdd on my machine. I have a 200gb drive that I told the FC5 install to call /home...Now I see the error in that. I am going to mount a /home for the FC install on the same 15gb drive, because I can see that both installs need their own /home (I wanted them to share the 200gb hdd for home, but they don´t want to share a /home). so, now...I want to, as I said, make new /home for the fedora installation on the 15gb drive, but I want to make...hmmm.../media/stuff or something, on the 200gb drive, and keep my data there, and put a link to this /media/stuff drive in BOTH /homes (both for Kubu and FC5), so that I can keep documents, music pics, etc. all on the 200gb drive and access them from either installation, without colliding with permissions issues. the question I have, being largely ignorant of such things (having only used single OS fedora systems on one drive for about 7 years, I haven´t even dualbooted windows since, like 2000, and never used a master/slave drive system), is, is this possible? Can I just symbolically link both /home dirs to the other drive, and configure /etc/fstab to mount that drive automagically on boot so that either install can access the data thereon? You know, like make a /home/tony/stuff dir in each home, and mount the other drive in that dir...thus, allowing each install to maintain it´s own .gaim, .mozilla, .kde, etc. in it´s own respective /home, but still
have access to that big bad boy 200gb for storage of all my goodies.
I have the feeling that I´m not too far out in left field on this, I just don´t have the practical experience with this kind of thing to know precisely what I´m doing. I still don´t know that if I write a document on OOo in the fedora install and save it to the big drive, if upon booting Kubu I´ll still be able to open and edit that file, or if Kubu is going to think ¨oh, no...that file
doesn´t belong to you...it belongs to the other tony...¨
I´m not even sure how to make a new /home on the fedora install so I can relabel the 200gb drive...or move what´s on the 200gb drive to somewhere on the fedora install and relabel the 200gb as /media/stuff or whatever....I´m a little lost. I think it´s possible, I just don´t know how to do it.
any advice would be deeply appreciated.

did I cluelessly hijack your thread?


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