I like playing around with the newest daily builds, different DE and stuff, yet need a solid (LTS) fallback to rely on, so I have two installs on the same machine... I know it wouldn't be a wise decision to use the same /home partition because it will ruin the configs.

But what would be the most elegant way to share the music, documents, videos, pictures folders between those two? There should be no harm done using this way.

I have the same user data (name and password) on both installs, can I just create a symbolic link or will I have permission issues? Is there a more elegant way to achieve this?

Are there any reasons I wouldn't want to do that that I am missing?

What if I had two different accounts (my girlfriends) that I want to use the same files on, what would be the easiest solution to set up the permissions for that without harming security to much.

Thanks a lot,



1 Answer 1


If you want separate home directories but only shared access to "music, documents, videos, pictures" - then yes, I'd suggest to store them somewhere else (e.g. separate partition or disk) and use symlinks to access them.

With the same UID/GID on both installs, no permission issues should arise. Except when one of the installs is e.g. using SELinux or some other non-standard permission model.

To allow another user to access the shared data, I'd suggest to add the users to a shared group and allow this group to access the shared data. Something like:

$ sudo groupadd media
$ sudo usermod -a -G media youracccountname
$ sudo usermod -a -G media yourfriendsaccountname
$ sudo chgrp -R media /mnt/media/Videos
$ sudo find /mnt/media/Videos -type -f -exec chmod -c g+r  '{}' +
$ sudo find /mnt/media/Videos -type -d -exec chmod -c g+rx '{}' +

Or, with ACLs (instead of chmod):

$ sudo find /mnt/media/Videos -type -f -exec setfacl -m g:media:r  '{}' +
$ sudo find /mnt/media/Videos -type -d -exec setfacl -m g:media:rx '{}' +

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