[nSLUG] chown, chmod or what

gnwiii at gmail.com gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 15:12:54 AST 2007

On 1/5/07, Bill Davidson <billdavidson at eastlink.ca> wrote:

> As I understand it, you have installed several distributions on one
> computer, each in its own partition.  You have created a user "rejean"
> in each distro, but unfortunately each distro's numeric user id
> correspondint to "rejean" is different.  Further, each distro's "rejean"
> has his own home directory.

> [...]
> There are several better approaches.
> [...]
> Best, why not have just one home directory for all rejean's, and make
> all the distro's agree on the numeric user id for rejean (by
> editing /etc/passwd)?  If you can find one more partition to use
> as /home/rejean, or as /home, and adjust all your /etc/fstab's
> accordingly, then it won't matter which distro you are using, rejean
> will always be rejean and he will have all his files.

You have to watch for situations where different distros have
different versions of apps that store preferences in the user's home
In the past, this wasn't always safe (old version crashes when
encountering a setting intended for the new version).  I think things
are better now, so I recommend that everybody else use a common home
directory and report any bugs they find, but I always create a new
"home" for each distro.

I prefer to have a "data" directory on a partition or file server that
can mounted in multiple distros.  This does require using the same
user and group ID on all systems.  Some installers want to create a
regular user acct during the initial setup.  Sometimes I go ahead and
create the login and change ownership later, and sometimes I create a
throwaway login.  The useradd/adduser command lets you specify the UID
and GID for a new login even if the GUI tools don't.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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