Dual-boot Manjaro and Debian w/ shared home folder

Hello
I would like to know your suggestions on how to proceed with a the installation of Manjaro xfce and Debian 10 Xfce with a shared home folder on a 120 ssd.

I'm thinking:
20 GB Manjaro
20 GB Debian 10
6 GB Swap (the laptop has only 3 GB Ram)
Rest of space for shared home folder.

Any guide I can follow step by step to do this?
Also is there any problem on having these 2 OS share the same Home Folder?

Thank you

Don't!

Why is that?
Because of conflicts?

One distribution is cutting edge, with packages updated not long after a new version is out, while the other is stable, with packages kept at their current version for a very long time.
Configuration files, saved in the home folder, tend to evolve with their applications. So sharing those same files with old and new versions can introduce incompatibilities.

2 Likes

See post above.

I am using a partition with data I like to keep between installs - it is not a shared home folder as such but shared data.

If you want a shared home folder there is a couple of things to consider.

First thing - has been mentioned - never versions of packages may be using incompatible settings. I don't think the issue is big if you - as you state - are using the same DE with both installations. But if you are using different DE then you may have settings - theming - which may not play well together.

Secondly the UID for your user may be different and thus require extra considerations.

As I said - I have a developed my own structure so I easily can reinstall my system or maybe even have several systems use the same data.

The foundation for the process is described in this post. You can target any folder normally residing in your home folder moving and then symlinking the folder in the home folder on each system.

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It can be a problem for applications, not only for DE,
The best is to separate "datas" from home like as advised.

I think this is a rare condition - most - if not all - apps ignores settings it does not know about.

Do you happen to know specific examples of applications where a version breaks if the config contains unknown elements?

Without speaking about breaking, a newer version might convert a config file to the newer version, but an older version then won't recognize the new elements. So converting to a newer version makes losing the configuration for the older version. More about annoying than breaking.

A classic potential problem is the default theming (themes, icons, colors, toolkits etc.).
Using a different user name on each system and sharing folders is a better approach.

When such a setup has not introduced noticeable issues in one case, is not proof that it wouldn't introduce them in other cases. IMHO of course.:wink:

Yes - theming was explicity mentioned in my post but that is only cosmetic and have no influence on applications overall functionality.


Most applications will have their system wide configurations in /etc which will not touch the user configurations unless the application is run. When the app is run it will - usually - only change user configs if the applications preferences is opened or edited.

I have never experienced an application breaking or malfunctioning due changes in user-configurable items which is why I ask if you have any evidence - examples of applications which have stopped working or working with errors due to user-configurable changes.

Yes but...
The whole point of advising against, is because the issues that arise cannot be easily (if at all) pinpointed to come from the mixed setup. They are "strange" issues. I definitely had such issues in the past and they have become a nightmare. But my consciousness doesn't like to recall them from memory.

:scream::nauseated_face::dizzy_face::innocent:

1 Like

I don't have example.. but as all user-config, cache is in home.. we never know if it's compatible between different version.
I know kdenlive project are not.. so.. (even it's only project files)

Thank you all for your replies.
This is an interesting discussion.
When I said Share Home folder between distros I meant shared media files (music, movies, downloads,docs and so on).

For example I want to have movie, music ,docs files shared between distros (Manjaro xfce/Debian 10 xfce) so that those files can be accessed regardless the distro I'm using.

I am a newbie to Linux world coming from Win10. I love Manjaro OS (have been using it for a while now) and the Forum Community here.

I want to learn more about Linux world and since Debian 10 come out I got curious to try it. out

FYI. My Tower dual-boots Manjaro [KDE+Cinnamon; SSD] with Fedora 30 [KDE+GNOME; HDD]. I created an additional 60 GB partition on the SSD for DATA, which i share between the boots. This includes all my Documents [for which i use LibreOffice & Okular], my Music Pictures Projects Templates & Videos directories, my VPN config files, my bash scripts, my VM Share directory, my .thunderbird directory, & my .config subdirectories for backintime, cairo-dock, cherrytree, libreoffice, & Task Coach. All those DATA subdirectories are symlinked back to their original locations with the ~/home directory of each boot.

All other ~/home directory contents not specifically listed above, remain in their original locations in the individual respective boots.

I had also intended to move all my browser directories into DATA as well, but i encountered several practical adverse consequences from that, so i ditched it.

I absolutely earnestly recommend, fwiw, that you never ever attempt to share the actual ~/home directory itself between different distros, for reasons already canvassed by others above.

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