[SOLVED] Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

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[SOLVED] Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Mon May 12, 2008 11:45 am

Hi,

I installed Daryna just a while ago alongside Ubuntu.
I setup my system like this:

Schermafdruk--dev-sda - GParted.png
My disk in GParted
Schermafdruk--dev-sda - GParted.png (48.45 KiB) Viewed 4384 times

XP
Extended Partition
|-Ubuntu
|-Mint
|-EXT3 (home)
Swap

Ubuntu and Mint both have the home mount point at the EXT3 home partitition, so I can easily share everything between the two distro's. Ofcourse reinstalling a distro or installing a new (version) is no problem.
However, some configs got overwritten, like gnome panel applets. I like to share my Tomboy Notes, Torrents and media between the two though.

How can I setup this efficient so I can still make a note in Tomboy in Ubuntu, so I can open it up in Mint? The same goes for torrents. Practically I want to share most folders and some other .folders.
Last edited by Mapleblack on Sat May 17, 2008 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Mon May 12, 2008 12:06 pm

Mapleblack,

I was just on my way out to get some lunch when I saw your post. If you can wait until I get back I'll be glad to help you with this. Probably be about an hour.

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Mon May 12, 2008 12:18 pm

That's ok, enjoy your lunch. I'm going to cook my dinner then :)

Mint 5 Beta cd sitting about on the desk.. I hope I can apply your help when installing it.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Mon May 12, 2008 3:23 pm

Mapleblack,

Now I am all fat and sassy. :-)

A few things to keep in mind. 10 - 12 Gig. is plenty of space to put into a / partition for Mint or Ubuntu. More than that you will probably never use and it just slows down your system. A smaller partition is a faster partition. I have 7 gig. of files in my / partition on a KDE install, which is bigger than a Gnome install, and I have everything but the kitchen sink on my install, (I like to play with stuff). Additional programs are what make the / grow. All your data goes into home. If you don't have data partitions, /home is what grows. Mint already comes with a more than respectable complement of programs, so you probably won't be adding much to your install for a general purpose desktop.

Your swap partition is rather large. A swap partition should not be bigger than 2X your physical RAM. The total of physical RAM plus swap should not exceed 4 Gig. on a 32 bit system. If it does, reduce the swap size accordingly to stay at 4 Gig. or less. You don't want to slow swap down when you can't use the extra space anyway. It is better to keep swap closer to the top of the partition table for speed but since you already have it where you do we will just leave it there. Just remember in the future if you need to completely redo you partitions to put the swap right after the Windows install on a primary partition.

Ok, the first thing I would suggest is to go to the url below and download and burn a live cd called Supergrub. This is handy to have around. You can boot into almost any install with it.

Download super_grub_disk_0.9711.iso

http://download.linux-live-cd.org/Super ... sgd/cdrom/


Next go to the site below and download and burn the Latest stable version of Gparted live cd iso.

http://sourceforge.net/project/showfile ... _id=271779

This should give you the tools to do what you need to do and they will probably come in handy later on too.

This is what I would suggest you do. You will be using the Gparted live cd to do this:

1) I would shrink sda5 to 10 Gig.

2) I would shrink sda6 to 12 Gig.

3) Shrink your swap partition to whatever the above formula dictates, and put the space liberated into your /home on sda7.

4) Combine the liberated space and make another ext3 logical partition of 12 Gig. It will probably be called sda8.

5) Put the rest of the space you liberated into your current /home on sda7

That should not only give you space for another system but also give you more space in your /home partition that you use for storage.

Since you just installed Mint 4 you probably don't have a lot of stuff in that install to loose. I would reformat sda6.

Install your beta on sda8 all on the same partition.

Then install Mint 4 on sda6 all on the same partition.

When you install Mint 4 last it should pickup all the installs so they will all boot ok.

Then mount the single Ubuntu /home partition in a folder on each of your Mint install /home folders. When you make your installs, be sure to use the same user name to keep from having permissions problems.

As you have questions, post back.

Fred

EDIT: When you get this far we will need to become familiar with /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst and correct your UUIDs and boot stanzas.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Mon May 12, 2008 5:16 pm

Hey Fred thanks a lot for the detailed 'guide' :)

Fred wrote:A few things to keep in mind. 10 - 12 Gig. is plenty of space to put into a / partition for Mint or Ubuntu. More than that you will probably never use and it just slows down your system. A smaller partition is a faster partition. I have 7 gig. of files in my / partition on a KDE install, which is bigger than a Gnome install, and I have everything but the kitchen sink on my install, (I like to play with stuff). Additional programs are what make the / grow. All your data goes into home. If you don't have data partitions, /home is what grows. Mint already comes with a more than respectable complement of programs, so you probably won't be adding much to your install for a general purpose desktop.

At some point my Ubuntu installation reached about 14 gig, I wouldn't know how to get it that far now though. "A smaller partition is a faster partititon" that is an eyeopener to me though :)

Fred wrote:Your swap partition is rather large. A swap partition should not be bigger than 2X your physical RAM. The total of physical RAM plus swap should not exceed 4 Gig. on a 32 bit system. If it does, reduce the swap size accordingly to stay at 4 Gig. or less. You don't want to slow swap down when you can't use the extra space anyway. It is better to keep swap closer to the top of the partition table for speed but since you already have it where you do we will just leave it there. Just remember in the future if you need to completely redo you partitions to put the swap right after the Windows install on a primary partition.

Smaller is faster again =p The swap has been there since I got this laptop and installed Ubuntu on it for the first time. I got about 2 gigs of RAM and this is how it ended up, it's what the installer recommended.
" Just remember in the future if you need to completely redo you partitions to put the swap right after the Windows install on a primary partition." Why is that exactly?
I think I'm going to redo my partitions soon anyway, I don't really got much data on my Ubuntu install either since I just repartitioned and most of my data is backed up on my external hard disk.

Fred wrote:Then mount the single Ubuntu /home partition in a folder on each of your Mint install /home folders. When you make your installs, be sure to use the same user name to keep from having permissions problems.

Ok but I also want to link some .config folders like .transmission and .tomboy. As I said I want to make a note in Tomboy in Mint, but it has to show up in the other Mint and on Ubuntu to. And vice .. vice versa :) I guess I can't do this by just creating symlinks?


Thanks for all your help en detailed descriptions so far, I appreciate it.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Mon May 12, 2008 6:40 pm

Mapleblack wrote:
put the swap right after the Windows install on a primary partition." Why is that exactly?


It is because of the mechanics of the drive. The outside of the disk is moving at a higher rate of speed than the inside of the disk. Data that resides on the outside of the disk will pass under the read/write head of the drive faster than it would if it were on the inside of the disk. Therefore it can be read faster. The outside of the disk is at the top of the partition table, and on the left of the Gparted graphic.

I got about 2 gigs of RAM and this is how it ended up, it's what the installer recommended.


Installers are infamous for not installing very smart. This is true regardless of the distro. They get the job done, in most cases, to give the user a working system but that is about the extent of their capabilities. Optimizing an install to the users system is beyond their capabilities.

At some point my Ubuntu installation reached about 14 gig, I wouldn't know how to get it that far now though.


About the only way I can see that you could reasonably get it to there would be you never cleaned out your repo catch and /tmp files. Were you compiling some programs too?

Ok but I also want to link some .config folders like .transmission and .tomboy. As I said I want to make a note in Tomboy in Mint, but it has to show up in the other Mint and on Ubuntu to.


I don't know if this is feasible or not. I am not familiar with these two programs. It might be possible to force all the incidents of this program to use the same config file. You might try asking that question on the project forums. The question would be, "how do I get Tomboy to use a single config file for all users." I don't know how symlinks would work out. You might be able to symlink all the installs to a single config file. It would be worth a try. Otherwise you won't be able to do it with what I have showed you. You might pull it off by letting all the installs use the same user name and the same /home, but I wouldn't recommend this. You will have constant problems and conflicts between the installs. It will become a nightmare, just to get those two programs to work the way you want.

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby micpet on Tue May 13, 2008 12:38 am

Fred wrote:
Then mount the single Ubuntu /home partition in a folder on each of your Mint install /home folders. When you make your installs, be sure to use the same user name to keep from having permissions problems.


Exactly what do you mean. I want to dual boot Mint and Ubuntu myself. I understand everything up to this. Fred, can you please explain this better. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 1:37 am

micpet,

Partitions are mounted or bound to folders in a Linux system. You could create a folder in the Mint /home/fred folder called, let's say, BuntuHome. Then mount the partition the Ubuntu /home was on to it when Mint starts. You would do this by putting a line into Mint's /etc/fstab file. Then when you looked in the /home/fred folder of Mint you would see the BuntuHome folder. When you opened it you would be seeing the /home/fred folder of the Ubuntu install. That way you would have available in your Mint /home all the data in your Ubuntu /home.

I hope that helps some.

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Tue May 13, 2008 9:41 am

Thanks a lot Fred, it's all clear to me now.

Hmm, going to research some on the .folder sharing..

-- I've actually burned the ISO of Gparted and I'm going to boot it right now (I had Super Grub Disk already). Wish me luck :)
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Husse on Tue May 13, 2008 1:29 pm

Did I read use the same user name in the same home partition
Ouch - this will create problems - even for geeks - I know :)
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 2:15 pm

Husse,

No. you didn't see that in that context. Look again. I said it would perhaps solve the problem with one particular program but cause a nightmare otherwise. :-)

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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Tue May 13, 2008 3:19 pm

OK I'm there.
Repartioned and well.

However I can't access the home partition. I also didn't set it as /home mount point just as you said.

I haven't been trying to sync the .folders but first things first :)
"EDIT: When you get this far we will need to become familiar with /etc/fstab and /boot/grub/menu.lst and correct your UUIDs and boot stanzas."
So.. help needed :roll:
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Schermafdruk--dev-sda - GParted.png
Partitions as they are now.
Schermafdruk--dev-sda - GParted.png (46.21 KiB) Viewed 4241 times
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 3:53 pm

Mapleblack,

Now I am a little confused. lol

What do you have here. I am assuming sda5 is your Ubuntu install. If so you should have a separate /home partition for it the way we had it planed. That would be sda7. You need one /home partition which can be for the Ubuntu install or the Mint install. Did you reinstall Ubuntu? It looks like you did from the Gparted graphic.

Before you change anything from here, catch me up on what you have done please. Looks like you have your partitions right though.

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 4:59 pm

Husse,

I believe we are in the wrong area of the forum for this. Please feel free to move this to the Installation section. :-)

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Tue May 13, 2008 5:28 pm

Fred this is the situation right now:

I haven't reïnstalled Ubuntu yet.
sda5 is Mint 5 Beta
sda6 is Mint 4
sda7 is the new home partition but I did not set it as mount point to any of the Mint installs. Still there is a "lost+found" folder in it which I cannot access.

Just like you said:
"
Install your beta on sda8 all on the same partition.

Then install Mint 4 on sda6 all on the same partition."

I hope I haven't messed up too bad at this but it doesn't really matter at this point since I can repartition and install within an hour with no files :)
Please tell me if you need more information.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 5:38 pm

No I was just confused. :-)

Where is your Ubuntu install?

Fred
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Mapleblack on Tue May 13, 2008 6:05 pm

It isn't there yet. I will probably shrink sda7 and make a partition for the Ubuntu install. Let's say I install Ubuntu and set sda7 as /home mount point in Ubuntu. What then?
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Husse on Tue May 13, 2008 6:15 pm

Yeah this most definitely belongs to the install section :)
And I did not even notice where it was
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 6:29 pm

Mapleblack,

Yeah that will work fine. I was just confused because I didn't see the Ubuntu partition. Thought maybe you had changed you mind about having the Ubuntu install.

You will need to make the Ubuntu / about 10 Gig. and set your big partition as home for the Ubuntu install. Do the Ubuntu install next.

Do the Mint 4 install last. All in the one partition as we discussed.

We then have some editing to do. Use Supergrub to boot into any install that won't boot. Post a copy of the /etc/fstab file for each install. Also, post a copy of each /boot/grub/menu.lst. I will fix them for you.

Don't be surprised if an install won't boot or work right. Each time you install a system you mess up the UUIDs of the other installs. It is easiest to wait until all the installs are made and correct them all at the same time. :-)

The last install you make will probably be the only one that will boot and run right, until the editing is done.

Fred
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Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Shared home partition with Ubuntu and Mint

Postby Fred on Tue May 13, 2008 6:31 pm

Husse,

Can you move the whole thread or do you need us to stop and start another thread?

Fred

EDIT: I see you are way ahead of me.... :-)
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

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