/Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

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BakUp
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/Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by BakUp »

This thread is a continuation from "What happens when Mint 6 comes out ?", page 1 and 2.
http://linuxmint.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... &sk=t&sd=a
which got to be "Off Topic". Anyone from there that wants to discuss this issue can do so here.

I can only express what happened to me when I used a /home partition in Mint 4.0. I am not defending or criticizing either option. What happened to me, I was doing a Synaptic update-upgrade and it broke my system and had to do a reinstall, I can not remember actually what the error was that I received, but it pointed to a /home partition issue.

What I do now is save all of my pics, music, and documents ect on a separate hard drive, not on a separate partition on the same hard drive. Then I use SBackup to back up my settings from Thunderbird, Firefox or any other settings in the home folder to that same hard drive mentioned above.

Sbackup can be found here:
http://maketecheasier.com/backing-up-da ... 2007/12/08
and is compatible with Mint. One can set it up to do back ups daily, weekly, monthly so on and so forth. It can be found in the Mint repository, Synaptic or Apt-Get

I just did a google search and have come up with the same user asking about the same scenario on two different forums, he got different answers defending their own preference.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... on-658030/
http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showthre ... post882575
Both of these threads are active.

Also, do a search in the Mint forums and you will find more discussions and comments.

cheers,
BakUp
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sidux - Parsix - DreamLinux - Mint

Lantesh
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Lantesh »

I used to not keep a seperate /home partition because I did not want my data mixed with any part of the operating system. I have since altered this preference half way. I now do keep a seperate /home partition so that all my settings are kept preserved on their own partition, and I can reinstall Mint if necessary, and not have to worry about lost settings. However I still do not keep any of my data, ie: music, video, documents etc in /home. I still keep all of my data in other partitions, with most of it on a completely different hard drive. I always thought the idea of keeping one's settings mixed together with one's data to be more or less a bad idea.

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by nelamvr6 »

I have had a separate /home partition for quite a while and I really think it is the best way to go. I have a NAS for backing up all data that cannot be easily replaced, so I am not quite so worried about maintaining data separate from my /home partition.

Though I do admit that on major releases (ones that end in .0 as in Mint 5.0) I do backup my data and reformat my /home partition in addition to formating my / partition.

But for intermediate releases I simply leave my /home partition untouched and format my / partition and do a clean install. I have not had problem number 1 with this regimen.

Even if the next release has an "Upgrade" tool I doubt I'll use it. I like nice clean installs.

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Husse »

There is a drawback, albeit a small one, with a separate home partiton and this is that you may inherit settings form a previous version - you may find that the menu in Elyssa says Daryna
Fixed by saving away and then removing the hidden folders .gconf* and .gnome*
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msuggs
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by msuggs »

I think the advantages of a separate /home partition far outweigh the disadvantages. That said it's been interesting to read some of the backup and data storage solutions that people use, particularly with multiple distros sharing data. This thread and the ones referenced on other forums are handy reference points :)

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Husse »

ta storage solutions that people use, particularly with multiple distros sharing data
Yupp - Fred advocates no separate home, just a small folder in which you mount your data partitions - perhaps the best solution
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deadguy
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by deadguy »

Husse wrote: Yupp - Fred advocates no separate home, just a small folder in which you mount your data partitions - perhaps the best solution

this is what I do. it works nicely.

red-e-made
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by red-e-made »

I do have a separate /home partition, mostly because I spend a lot of time customizing the configurations of my packages. When I do a fresh install on the root partition, I open two windows: one, of my new home folder, and the other, my old home partition. In both windows I view hidden files. Then I move the files I want to keep from my old home partition to my new home folder, delete the contents of the old home partition, and mount my new home folder to the now-empty home partition through this process.

The whole operation takes 5 minutes, and saves me a lot of time and hassle. As does having my four different data partitions mounted to separate desktop folders.

nelamvr6
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by nelamvr6 »

Husse wrote:There is a drawback, albeit a small one, with a separate home partiton and this is that you may inherit settings form a previous version - you may find that the menu in Elyssa says Daryna
Fixed by saving away and then removing the hidden folders .gconf* and .gnome*
There is a (much) simpler way to fix this, simply right click on the Main Button, select "Preferences", then select "Main Button" and you can change the text to say whatever you want.

To me the 2 seconds it takes to fix this is not even close to trouble enough to consider that a "drawback" to having a /home partition. But that's just my opinion...

Husse
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Husse »

Nah not much of a drawback, but there is more to it - you may not get the new theme (I know I did not in Daryna) and other strange things may occur as some setting may be "illegal" for the newly installed - but it is minor - mostly :roll: :lol:
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Acid_1 »

oops, prolly better to mount the free drive in /home rather than /home/adam

My mistake :lol: :lol: :lol:

oh well, no issues yet cause of it

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by rlindsey0 »

Husse wrote:
ta storage solutions that people use, particularly with multiple distros sharing data
Yupp - Fred advocates no separate home, just a small folder in which you mount your data partitions - perhaps the best solution
For a newbie, how would you do this?
Sarah 18 Cinnamon 64, dual-boot Win 10 Pro 64 SP1, Clevo W150ER 15.6" laptop, i7 3630M, 16 GB RAM, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB/HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, Nvidia GT 650M 1 GB, eSATA 3.0 HGST 1 TB 7200 RPM, HP Photosmart C5280

rivenought
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by rivenought »

Having started with Linux back with openSUSE 10.2, I just assumed that a separate /home partition was the standard. Once I began testing other distros, I found this was not the case.

Folks, if you have every used openSUSE, you know that it is a very powerful OS. Maybe it was just my learning style, but I know I would break it on a regular basis. I admit to doing it a few times by my own learning process, but there were always some Ninja updates that totally borked the whole system. So, I am quite adept with a clean-install when necessary.

Now, If I had to reinstall openSUSE 10.2, I reformatted the /root, but did not format the /home. That way, all my personal settings and files were still sitting there untouched. Keeping the same /home within the same revision works great.

However, I would not keep the exact same /home folder during an upgrade from 10.2 to 10.3. I saved critical files from 10.2 to a flash drive and added them back in on the new 10.3 /home partition. This way, the old settings would not interfere with the new applications.

When I upgraded from Mint 4 to Mint 5, I saved my critical files to a flash drive, did a clean install of Mint 5 (partitioning my drive for a separate /home), and then added files back from the flash drive into the new /home. Everything works dandy.

So, yes, in my case, having a separate /home partition is beneficial, especially in case of having to reinstall the /root partition. This method works for me. Perhaps it will work for others, as well.

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by AK Dave »

I don't value /home a lot. It is a place for my .config files and not much more. I use web-based email regularly. I don't save directly to /home, unless I've downloaded something. The folders in my /home are symlinks to folders on a NAS or folders on a seperate storage partition. My /home is not a seperate partition. If I reinstall, it gets scrubbed. Nothing gets lost except some symlinks and browser settings and that much is easy to backup by hand.

Its pretty much exactly what Fred advocates. I'm a convert. I love it. I have 3 bootable installable linux partitions on my computer, and all of them can share the same data. When I install a new distro to play with, I'll have the desktop configured and have used the distro for weeks before I bother restoring the symlinks to data because the data is accessable regardless.

red-e-made
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by red-e-made »

AK Dave wrote:I have 3 bootable installable linux partitions on my computer, and all of them can share the same data. When I install a new distro to play with, I'll have the desktop configured and have used the distro for weeks before I bother restoring the symlinks to data because the data is accessable regardless.
My /home folder is also, for me, a place for config files. I keep actual data in four separate partitions - for documents, images, music and video, respectively - each one mounted to a separate folder on my desktop. I highly recommend this, as it gives you all the ease of putting things in folders on your desktop, and all the security of keeping your data separate from your root partition.

Having a separate /home partition is, for me, just a way to reduce the hardware entailed in backing things up. I have to admit that there's no objective advantage or disadvantage to a separate /home partition, as far as I can see - like most things Linux, it's a matter of personal taste, and what you use your machine for.

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by MagnusB »

For multibooting it is not recommended to have a shared home partition, at least not with the same user name, can muck it self up pretty good then.. I too prefer the /home/username/Data way of dealing with data. That way I can configure my desktop each time I do a fresh install (I've done two or three a month lately), instead of keeping old settings and betting they will work...

And another note, once you've done the configuration once,you'll go through it pretty quick the next time...
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Land Locked »

Guys, this noob is now confused. I have spent the last few days installing and breaking daryna to try n learn how to do the separate boot partition properly. Lost the printout, search for the "how to" and end up reading this debate.

For us noob's what would be the better/easier option?

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grimdestripador
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by grimdestripador »

Running in a single mode environment (aka Desktop Computer), I don't see an advantage of placing /home/<USER> on its own partition since I already have my /media/MUSIC setup with approparate permissions. The documents in me Home folder, are then transfered to my /media/STORAGE disk. I don't like settings sizes of partitions cause some programs write crazy amounts of temp files in strange places. This would lead to disk-fragmentation, but my documnts are usually .odt and .txt, since my music and storage is under pass-activated mount protection.

instead of raid (cause i'm more afraid of myself than HD errors), buy your HDs by the two, and get identical swappable cartridges. Then backups are just a disk copy away.

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AK Dave
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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by AK Dave »

I find no advantage and no compelling reason to have a seperate /home partition. It profits me nothing. Same with a seperate /boot partition.

Instead, I'll make a 10-12gb root partition for each OS install I do, with /boot and /home integrated into each one.

The only files that end up in the /home partition are .config files and symlinks to a redundant file structure stored on a seperate paritition. It is on this seperate partition that you will find /Music and /Documents and /Videos and so forth.

For redundancy I can backup my .config files to this seperate partition if I have app settings that I want to be sticky between installs. Again, symlinks help.

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Re: /Home Partition vs no /Home Partition discussion

Post by Land Locked »

From what I've read and understand here now, it seems a separate partition for my documents and media is the way to go rather than a home partition.

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