View Full Version : Moving "HOME" and "VAR" -- AND-- GUI i

03-14-2005, 02:54 PM
Good morning to all!!!

I have an Athalon 2200+ with a 160G drive. I would like to have root on hda1, swap on hda2, HOME on hda3, and VAR on hda4. I may move others later.... I CANNOT get it to go. I've played with the persistant home some. I would like to change the fstab and what ever else needed to make this happpen so I don't have to do a home=scan.

I want some of the directories on different drive because later I would like to mess with Kanotix and Gentoo. Figured if I had HOME on it's own drive, I could get all of these distros using the same drive for home (one at a time).

Now, the GUI issue.... Boot up Knoppix. Wait til your desktop is showing and have a power failure (pull the plug). Next boot up will be a TEXT login. The GUI does not even start. Anyone know how I can get this back?

TIA for the help!!!


03-14-2005, 11:27 PM
I'll tackle the first one.

Figured if I had HOME on it's own drive, I could get all of these distros using the same drive for homeYes, this works nicely, and after you set up the first one it's easier with the others when they're fresh installs.

First, just have just one text (console) login as root. Be sure to not be in the /home directory.

# mv /home /home-bak
# mkdir /home
# mount /dev/hda3 /homeThen copy what you need from /home-bak to /home.

Add a line to /etc/fstab like this:
/dev/hda3 /home ext3 defaults 0 0or, if you like to be more explicit,
/dev/hda3 /home ext3 auto,users,exec 0 0
When you add other distros, if you can, make the change to /etc/fstab (and then mount /home) before you create your user account. Sometimes that can be done during install, when you're laying out the partitions.

If that's not possible, go through the same procedure, but this time only copy over what doesn't already exist on hda3. That way you don't clobber your existing settings for, say, kde and firefox. So if the new distro uses gnome, go ahead and copy over the settings for that.

With /swap, the other installs will most likely detect hda2 and suggest using it, and that's great. I don't use a separate partition for /var - there's distro-specific stuff in there that shouldn't get clobbered in addition to the temporary things that aren't important.

I hope this helps.

-- Ed

03-15-2005, 02:51 PM
Mr. Ed,

Thank you! I've read several of your posts and you are doing what I wanted to setup. (Multiple linux(es) with COMMON directories)

I've sorta played with my 2nd problem.....
Here's what I did. When I logon in TEXT mode, I entered a command "STARTX". The GUI did come up
but, the font size was all wrong (and BG color). I also noticed, when I went to LOGOUT, the options presented were different. (There were 2 not the normal 3 or 4 --- I think shutdown was NOT there) Well, I shut it down (pulled plug) and
rebooted. This time it came up like NORMAL. This AM I started to recreated the whole process again. But did not
have time to totally finish (had to get kid to school).

Ed, hopefully we can discuss more later on the 1st problem. If we do it here, more can benefit from it. I think it
would be a GREAT way to do a reinstall AND keep all of your personal stuff intact. Plus, I want to mess with other

Have a great day!


03-15-2005, 03:38 PM
Hello again!

I shut it down (pulled plug)....
Ummm ... please don't do that. It makes computers very angry at humans, and they may revolt against us any day now! :D

When us geek types want to sound important, we say things like, "Improper halting may leave the computer in an unstable state and unwritten data in the buffer, possibly leading to loss of data and even a system that can't be restarted."

When we aren't talking fancy we say, "Look at all the messages that go by when you shut down a system - there's lots of housekeeping that needs to get done!"

But the truth is that nobody likes to be hit on the head to go to sleep. Starting up a computer that's been shut down this way is like waking up a bear from hibernation - they're sleepy and mad!

To close down a window, type <CTRL><ALT><BACKSPACE> all together. (If it doesn't work with <RIGHT-CTRL> and <RIGHT-ALT>, use the ones on the left side of the keyboard.) This takes you to a console prompt.

Your system may be set up to automatically start a new window again. That's okay - you can see whether it comes up correctly or not.

Then, to leave the window running and get to console, type <CTRL><ALT>F1, or F2, or F3. (F1 may be unusable because it's tied to the GUI session - or F2 might be.)

Once you're at the console, as root type:
# shutdown -h nowThe -h means halt - you can also use -r to reboot. You can also use
# init 0 to shut down and init 6 to reboot. Or
# telinit 0 to shut down and telinit 6 to reboot.

Some systems don't like init/telinit and will reply that init is already running. Otherwise, any of these commands should work on almost any kind of Unix-like operating system.

They also work from a terminal window in the GUI, providing you make yourself root at the command line.

So save a geek from getting bit by a bear - and save your system too! :D

-- Ed

03-15-2005, 04:20 PM
Yes sir you are correct! I "NORMALLY" shut it down properly. But, I wanted to simulate a POWER FAILURE which I usually do not get any warning it's comming :wink:

I know a UPS would help here.

03-16-2005, 07:34 AM
I too have had this same experience of only getting a console after power off. When my machine freezez, the keyboard is DEAD. Num lock and Caps locks will not toggle and none of the keypresses do anything. Could I have wrong configfor my keyboard?
Right now, on my HD Install, it brings me to "login at box", with root and my two user accounts listed. If I attempt to login as one of the users, it cycles back to this login at box. If I login as root, KDE Desktop is loaded, but taking longer than originally.
Any ideas?


03-16-2005, 10:52 PM

Not sure why you have the looping problem. As you've read in my posts, I just pulled the plug simulating a power failure. I then loged on as a user and loged back off. Fonts were hacked (LARGE). Then rebooted and it came back up like normal.

Hope it works for you.


03-17-2005, 06:00 AM
Don't know much about multi-distros sharing a common 'home' except that I tried it & the results were not good. To make it simple I had multiple only multiple installations of Knoppix & all were 'Knoppix-style' so there shouldn't have been to many problems, but there were. It was a PITA trying to keep everything in synch, there as so many application setups in 'home' & one distro would modify things which seemed to screw up the settings on another distro. I certainly wouldn't try sharing /var....
What I would do instead is let each distro have it's own /home but put any shareable data on a shared srive with symlinks in /home.
You might also be interested in this:http://www.shell-shocked.org/article.php?id=230

03-17-2005, 02:58 PM
Thank you all for the info!!!

Mr. Ed, I tried it again last night, still not working. Upon rebooting, it normally REBUILDS the fstab file. So I fixed it and redid the fstab file then rebooted with a nofstab switch. Then I had a problem with KDE's config. Also, if I plug in a thumb drive or something else, I think it will force a rebuild of the fstab file there too??? Someone?

I'd really like HOME on the drive.... That way if I add something in one distro it will be available in another.

C&B yes you are correct about the info in /VAR. Maybe then what I'd like to move is the WWW dir.

Still working on it.........