install Suse 12.3 with 11.4 How do I set my /home partition

With installing suse 12.3 I want to keep 11.4 as dual boot (untill it all works fine and backup system)

I tried almost anything in the installation to customize it but I cannot set my /home partition.

current situation
2 Hard disks sda is my old 11.1 version to become 12.3 ] with its /home on sda4 (now in use for backup)
(windows partition is used to store drivers etc.- no windows)
sdb is my Suse 11.4 [to stay]
installationDVD is SUSE12.3 -KDE

Now I want my new /home partition set to sda4 but cannot find any way to do so
Here is what I have. And will GRUB2 set suse 11.4 as an option in its menu? This problem was not there when I updated from 11.1 tot 11.4
Separate /home partition is checked

You do not explain why you can not set sda4 to be mounted on /home. Please tell us which steps you did and where you got stuck.

Thus just a guess: you forgot to first change sda5 to NOT be mounted on /home.

First edit the sda5 entry and uncheck the “to be mounted” section.
Then edit the sda4 entry and check the same and fill in /home.
(There is no information from you were you want to use sda5 for, thus this scenario leaves it unused).

And for the boot, go into the Booting section of your second picture and check if it “sess” the 11.4 / partition as something bootable. Report here with more details.

To boot openSUSE from /sdb, it must be listed as the first disk in the openSUSE installation booting section. You must select /sdb as the boot hard disk in your PC boot setup. I normally boot from the openSUSE root / partition, load generic boot code into the MBR, and BOTH ARE GRUB 2 settings in the openSUSE installation process.

Thank You,

Also do not use the same user name and UID on the new as you have on the old. Reason is that a new GUI may modify its config files and beak thing for the olde GUI!!!

What I do is not mount a home partition for the new until I’m happy with it and when I decide to switch I (logged as root in a terminal) rename the /home directory on the new and then set my home partition to mount at /home (in Yast) for then forward I boot to the new. I also have a second user which I then use to log into the old if i need to so the GUI won’t mess with my current configs.

Hi !

If I get you right, /dev/sdb2 and /dev/sdb5 are the root (/) and /home partitons of your 11.4. Yes?


Now make one (or two) backups of your data before proceeding (if you haven’t done that beforehand).

What is special about your above listing of partitions, is that on your first drive (currently /dev/sda)
you have free space between “Einde” at 131 and “Begin” at 3934.
So it seems that you alread have deleted the / (or root) partition of your 11.1 ?

Whatever, you should spend about 20 GB for root of new 12.3.

Otherwise an installation of a newer version of openSUSE on a separate hard disk usually is easy going,
and much easier than installing several versions of it on the same hard disk.

During installation choose “expert partition setup” or “expert mode” (or sth. similar - may be different when translated).

Be sure to address the right partition, when you delete your /dev/sda4 (label suse11.1home),
and be sure to have backed up any important data from that partition BEFOREHAND.

If you’re sure about the latter, delete that partition, while running the installer of openSUSE 12.3,
in expert mode for partition setup.

Then create a new partition of about 20 GB at best for new root of 12.3
on WDC-WD1600AAJB-5 (or your current /dev/sda).
After that set a mount point of / for that partition.

Then create a new partition on the same drive,
taking the rest of the space.

Set a mount point of /home for that partition.

After that the installer should do its job,
installing 12.3 on these partitions.

Because, until present, I only had experience with openSUSE versions
making use of legacy GRUB, I can not assure you, that your old 11.4 system
will be recognized and - on startup - be displayed as an option for booting.

Good luck!

/dev/sdb2 is the root and can be the suggested boot partition to run openSUSE 12.1 as I suggested while /dev/sdb5 is /home and you can not boot openSUSE from this.

Thank You,

/dev/sdb2 is the root of 11.4 which the OP wanted to keep as a fallback system.


If you set this up as I suggest you make NO changes to sda and can boot everything from sdb, including the sda installation. The menu options for sda will get added for you by grub 2 on sdb. Re-read my suggested setup. You create a standalone setup on sdb and select it as the default boot in the PC BIOS setup. The Grub 2 bootloader on sdb does the rest if set to “Probe Foreign OS”, the default.

Thank You,

Have a look at the 1st post, the text there, and the listing of partitions (and labels).

On sdb is openSUSE 11.4 which the OP wants to keep - so the partitions on that HDD just can not be changed.

Means: the changes can only take place on sda, where old 11.1 seemed to reside.

Best wishes

Got you. In such a case, use the same setup on sda as sdb, but for the install of openSUSE 12.3, or even the install of 13.1, soon to be released. Sorry for any confusion in reading the original post. I have been working with openSUSE 13.1 all day and its getting late here in Austin. I am liking what I see in openSUSE 13.1 and after installing RC2 and doing a full update puts you at almost the final release.

I even got all multimedia working properly, so I am very happy.

Thank You,


With thanks to people responding.
Because I changed the partition (sda2) I had to remove the 11.1 version.

After rearranging sda into new partitions 20gb for / and use the rest for /home from my 11.4 suse version the 12.3 installation proposed the installation on sda the way I wanted it to.
No problems with Grub2 finding Suse 11.4 and after I used Grub-customize to set 11.4 as first choise (keep my wife happy) for the first months.


Very happy to help and to hear you found a working solution.

Thank You,