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Re: Debian 8 and Debian 9 Dual Boot




On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 10:27:36PM -0500, Dan Norton wrote:
> My first Linux install was about one year ago. After some missteps, I have
> used Debian 8 in reasonable satisfaction on the desktop during that year.
> Now I want to leave 8 in place and do a network install for Debian 9 on the
> same disk and switch back and forth at boot time.
> 
If you use a desktop environment (e.g., GNOME or KDE) and want to share
the /home directory between both installations, you might encounter some
problems.  In particular, the desktop environments are known for not
behaving well when a newer version updates all the user-specific files
and then an older version tries to access them.

For example, the first time you boot to Debian 9 and log in (assume
GNOME for moment), files under ~/.config, ~/.gnome*, and possibly other
places will be modified by the new version of GNOME in Debian 9.  There
is no guarantee that when you go back to Debian 8 that the version of
GNOME there will cope will at all with the changed files under ~/.config
and ~/.gnome*.  In fact, it is quite likely that it will encounter some
sort of significant problem.

Your safest bet if you really intend to dual-boot in this way is to have
separate /home directories for each install and then use something like
/data to mount into both installations in order to share documents and
data between sessions.

Regards,

-Roberto

-- 
Roberto C. Sánchez