Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Beans
    32

    What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    Hello everyone

    I always read that it is good to make a separate /home partition for your documents and that if you make it NTFS you can share it between Linux and Windows in a dual boot.

    But what is actually the advantage of this configuration as opposed to where I just keep my documents on my Windows partition and mount that one when working in Ubuntu? (except that you don't loose your documents when formatting the windows partition)

    And if I were to make a separate home partition, on which partition would I best locate my (Windows) program files? On the home partition?

    thanks in advance
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London, England
    Beans
    5,441
    Distro
    Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    Having a separate home partition allows you to reinstall the operating system (including a reformat) without losing all your data. Much the same as keeping all your data on a separate D: drive in windows (I think). In fact, I tend to have two system partitions as well, so I can try out the next version without wiping a known working system, and I share the data partition between them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Beans
    Hidden!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Poland
    Beans
    4,243
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    separate home means you can reinstall (which means nuking the partition assigned to root /) and have all your files and configuration accessible right off the bat, as if nothing happened. I don't think you can make /home NTFS though, i'd say it has to support native linux permissions which NTFS does not do.
    People suggest yet another partition purely for win-linux interaction, let's call it DATA, where your movies music and what not are stored. In such a scenario /home can be very thin and store only gui customizations and program settings.
    The general idea is to have system stuff and your personal data on separate partitions, so wiping system doesn't touch your data at all.

    If you use windows in your dual boot a lot, the advantage is much smaller because most likely you hold your data in D: accessible from both systems either way (more or less an equivalent of the scenario with DATA partition)
    Separate /home (and/or separate DATA) are most useful when linux is your main system and you upgrade a lot, jump distros, tinker, break things and reinstall frequently. You save time you'd otherwise spend on backuping/moving/copying
    Last edited by Vaphell; December 6th, 2012 at 08:10 PM.
    if your question is answered, mark the thread as [SOLVED]. Thx.
    To post code or command output, use [code] tags.
    Check your bash script here // BashFAQ // BashPitfalls

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    You normally keep your Windows programs in Windows, but put data an a shared NTFS data partition. You cannot use NTFS for /home.

    I do like to separate system from data, both for Windows & Ubuntu. Then it is easier to upgrade system without messing with data, but your data should be backed up anyway before any system changes.

    For new users I suggest the separate /home. And if dual booting with Windows another data partition formatted NTFS for shared data. But once you start putting most data in data partition(s), then a separate /home has less utility. I am back to including /home in my / (root) but have all data in separate data partitions. Once is still NTFS from when dual booting XP and all new data now goes into a shared ext3 (if creating now I would use ext4) partition.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    146
    Distro
    Lubuntu

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    I did have a separate partition in NTFS (yup, so windows could use it too) then I decided it would be more secure not to. So earlier last week I moved everything. I broke ubuntu a little over an hour ago, using a Ubuntu live USB now and I can't access any of my files. Sometimes I just want to punch myself in the face, really hard.
    when on thin ice; dance

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Beans
    249
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    But once you start putting most data in data partition(s), then a separate /home has less utility. I am back to including /home in my / (root) but have all data in separate data partitions.
    ^^^ Ditto. Even though on this laptop I have a separate "home", by doing regular backups using lucky or grsync it makes it rather redundant as a complete backed up "home" is on another partition or drive anyway.

    I had a slight hickup doing a fresh install of 12.04 from 10.04 and keeping my current separate "home" caused some issues. I was able to sort it out but when I did a complete fresh install of xubuntu 12.04,on my desktop (server), I nuked the HD completely and had my home in "/". I just brought any backed up data over, from another drive, and had no issues at all. Turned out to be much faster and easier. So from now on, I won't use a separate "home" as I don't really need it.
    Colin
    Registered Linux User #318277
    The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 25648

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Lynne Valley, BC
    Beans
    2,573
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    I agree with Colin.
    I upgraded my wife's computer from 10.04 to 12.04 recently.
    She did not have a separate home partition so I rsynced her home folder to a new partition on a fresh install using grsync.
    It was easy and all is working well.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    146
    Distro
    Lubuntu

    Re: What is the advantage of separate /home partition

    Well now I've got a clean install of Lubuntu, a partition for my vm's, a windows xp partition and two large NTFS dump partitions along with swaps & I managed to save everything, but only just. All your music/films/games etc should definitely be on a separate NTFS partition, especially if you encrypt your home directory. It just takes too long to replace everything.
    when on thin ice; dance

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •