"separate /home partition has not been necessary in a while"

Story: I just discovered somethingTotal Replies: 4
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Dec 14, 2009
6:46 PM EDT
I don't call it "necessary," but if you should ever wish to do a reinstall (and before doing that in any case, you need a backup of /home no matter where it's mounted), not having a separate /home partition guarantees that you'll need to restore your user files.

Whereas with a separate /home partition, you stand a very, very good chance of having the user files survive the reinstall, saving you time and trouble. Again, don't do this on any /home partition you care about without doing a backup first.

And then there's dual-booting. I don't recommend sharing a /home directory between two distros in a dual-boot, but without /home on its own partition, I doubt that you could do this even if you wanted to.

Ubuntu only wants /home in the root partition because then the size of /home relative to / ceases to be a problem. In a single partition, /home or /usr can grow as big or small as warranted and there will never be a need to repartition, since the disk space is equally shared by everything from / on down.

Yeah, this works, but I'd much rather learn how to use gParted with a live CD and keep /home separate. For me it's the only way.

Dec 14, 2009
7:08 PM EDT
I'm going to run some tests. I'm still not convinced it's the best way to do things. Yes it is convenient, especially for getting new users up and running fast, but It still scares me that personal data is on the same partition as the System files, and could get clobered. Also not having a seperate /home partition makes it much more difficult to move to a non Ubuntu system.

Dec 14, 2009
7:35 PM EDT
I've also always been a fan of keeping /home separate, simply for the safety and reinstall factor. Sure, with big disks and such you probably don't NEED a separate partition for /home, but I'd rather not take the risk. And of course, since people like me tend to reinstall every once in a while, it would be a major hassle to move everything from /home elsewhere just so I could do a fresh install and then have to move it back...

Dec 14, 2009
9:25 PM EDT
The basis for Ubuntu/Debian installation automation is preseeding but I don't know how flexible the partitioning options are: http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/394

One problem with pre-existing user home directories during reinstalls is that adduser won't assign an existing home directory to a new user. You have to rename the existing one so it can create a new one then merge it back.

[url=https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/ source/adduser/ bug/178616]https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/ source/adduser/ bug/17861...[/url]

Dec 15, 2009
4:01 PM EDT
While OpenBSD strongly suggests you put everything on its own partition (including /etc, /usr, /tmp, /home), NetBSD suggests that users throw everything into /

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