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Thread: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

  1. #1
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    Default Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    I have a PC with two hard disks, one sda dedicated to Windows and the second sdb for Linux. Plenty of space is available on sdb.
    At the moment I have 13.2, 42.1 and 42.2 installed on sdb using same Swap partition. Each version has its own Grub, / and /Home partitions. I am to now delete the 13.2 version and do a fresh install of 42.3 in lieu. I now wish to keep a single /Home partitions for all the versions. As a start I wish to use the existing /Home for 42.2 for 42.3 also. I have to use the expert partitioner for the process. Deleting the 13.2 partitions one by one moves the proposed 42.3 partitions into those positions. How do I proceed from this point on?

    Also is it essential that each version keeps its own grub partition? Will the problem be solved if I elect to write grub to and boot from the MBR of sdb?

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Assuming you mean /home instead of /Home, you may be carefull about sharing it between different versions. Not so much about different version of openSUSE, but different versions of your desktop software.

    E.g. a new version of KDE may convert old configuration files when it is started by a user for the first time and it detects that an old KDE version was used before. But the a backwards conversion is most probably not a feature, were it only because the old version was made before the specifications of the new version were fixed.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Don't think MBR supports cross drive booting so if you put grub in MBR of sda then you will need at least a boot partition (about 500 meg) mounted as /boot on sda

    Once all is as you wish it on the partition scheme page proceed if not go back and fix it

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Your real question is about a Grub partition. I am not aware of such a partition.

    You may have an EFI partition, which is in fact not part of your system, but resides on disk for EFI booting.

    You may have a separate boot partition. That contains grub software, but it also contains the kernel (maybe even different versions of it). I am not sure that mixing all those kernels from different openSUSE versions in one shared /boot is a good idea. E.g. updating a kernel (by a patch in the OSS Update repo), may involve removing older kernels (not 100% sure, but I think by default two older kernels are kept, older ones removed, or similar behaviour), which may mean that a kernel of one of your other systems may be deleted.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Don't think MBR supports cross drive booting so if you put grub in MBR of sda then you will need at least a boot partition (about 500 meg) mounted as /boot on sda

    Once all is as you wish it on the partition scheme page proceed if not go back and fix it
    I am presently booting off sdb as first drive, so that wont be a problem. I have to fix the MBR on sda, but thats another story. My basic doubt is whether I need a separate grub partition for each version?

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    Your real question is about a Grub partition. I am not aware of such a partition.

    You may have an EFI partition, which is in fact not part of your system, but resides on disk for EFI booting.

    You may have a separate boot partition. That contains grub software, but it also contains the kernel (maybe even different versions of it). I am not sure that mixing all those kernels from different openSUSE versions in one shared /boot is a good idea. E.g. updating a kernel (by a patch in the OSS Update repo), may involve removing older kernels (not 100% sure, but I think by default two older kernels are kept, older ones removed, or similar behaviour), which may mean that a kernel of one of your other systems may be deleted.
    Yes, you are right! Due to an initial mixup I do have sdb1 as efi partition. I was not aware that the grub partition has the kernel! so I have to stick to as many grub partitions as the versions. Thanks!

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Again, I do not think there is something like a grub partition. Please either explain what you mean with "grub partition" (to make me understanding you) or use "/boot partition" (when that is what you mean). Using a different language then other people will produce confusion and misunderstanding.
    Henk van Velden

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    Assuming you mean /home instead of /Home, you may be carefull about sharing it between different versions. Not so much about different version of openSUSE, but different versions of your desktop software.

    E.g. a new version of KDE may convert old configuration files when it is started by a user for the first time and it detects that an old KDE version was used before. But the a backwards conversion is most probably not a feature, were it only because the old version was made before the specifications of the new version were fixed.
    My primary objective is to avoid copying my working text, spreadsheets, music, video files etc from one version to another. The operation requires use of superuser mode and then changing ownership of the files back to the actual user! Though I keep both KDE and Gnome desktops I mostly run KDE.

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Quote Originally Posted by hcvv View Post
    Again, I do not think there is something like a grub partition. Please either explain what you mean with "grub partition" (to make me understanding you) or use "/boot partition" (when that is what you mean). Using a different language then other people will produce confusion and misunderstanding.
    I am using the nomenclature (grub) I see when setting up partitions in the expert partitioner. What I can make out is that the grub partition is (and should be called) "/boot partition".

    I most probably mixed things up when I first set up sdb and installed 12.3 on it. The disc is efi but I install OpenSUSE SATA. That is also when I wrote grub to MBR of sda and have yet to correct it to standard Windows MBR for Windows 7. Cleaning the system is going to be a tough exercise. Yhanks

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    Default Re: Retaining the same /Home for different versions

    Quote Originally Posted by PrakashC View Post
    My primary objective is to avoid copying my working text, spreadsheets, music, video files etc from one version to another. The operation requires use of superuser mode and then changing ownership of the files back to the actual user! Though I keep both KDE and Gnome desktops I mostly run KDE.
    That is the result of sloppy system administration if I may say so.
    What is essentially the same user on different systems should be configured with the same userid, etc. on all systems. Then that user is owner of his/her own files on all systems. Thus when you mount one of the home partitions of a not running system somewhere on the running system (like at /mnt/home-systemx, the user must be able to copy to and from. No root needed.

    And of course another (maybe better) approach would be to have only the users' "work data" on a common partition, but his/her configuration files (of e.g. KDE, etc.) in separate /home/userx space. When you only have a few users, that /home may not even be a separate file system, thus strong connected to the system.

    But the above are only vague suggestion, not understanding at all why one would like to have so many openSUSE versions in production at the same time.
    Henk van Velden

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