not backup but using gnucash in two different distros

Donald Allen donaldcallen at
Sat Nov 29 07:57:34 EST 2008

On Sat, Nov 29, 2008 at 4:48 AM, Manfred Usselmann <
usselmann.m at> wrote:

> Harold <hh6199 at> schrieb am Fri, 28 Nov 2008 12:55:46 -0800
> (PST):
> > In several of the forums for the different distros it was stated that
> > there could be problems with different distros sharing the same home
> > partition. I have different /home directories set up in the same
> > partition.
> Having separate home directories for different installations /
> distributions definitely makes sense, but you don't need to have your
> gnucash data in the home directory or a subdirectory of it.
> Why not keep it simple instead of copying files around and risk
> confusing yourself about what is the latest version? If your home dirs
> are all on the same partition, I assume this partition is accessible
> from all your distributions. You could put a gnucash directory in
> parallel to your home dirs and use it independent from which
> distribution you have booted. Then you would always use the same GC
> data file and there is no need to copy it around.
> You could also create a separate data partition which you mount from all
> your OS installations.  This would make it easy to share also other
> data files / documents you may be working on between your
> distributions and it is easy to backup all your data. And you could
> reinstall your distribution or install another one without loosing your
> data (as long as you leave the data partition alone).
> You could also create that data partition on an external hard drive. If
> your system supports eSATA this gives you the same performance as with
> internal disks (in contrast to USB 2, which is a lot slower). Then you
> could even use your data from different computers. At least you would
> be sure that you don't loose your data when you start messing around
> with your distributions. Just disconnect the external drive first...
> In any way I would not recommend copying data files around because
> sooner or later you will use the wrong version...

I'm going to chime in here. You suggest above "keeping it simple" and then
follow it with several paragraphs involving valid, but advanced, stuff such
as added partitions, an eSATA drive, etc. We are trying to advise a person
who has described himself as "inexperienced with Linux". I think your
original idea about simplicity was correct. I would suggest to Harold that
he's attempting to mix inexperience with complexity, not a good combination.
My advice is to begin with one computer, one distribution, one version of
gnucash, gnucash data in his home directory and learn how to use that. Once
that has settled down, then a more complicated setup can be considered
(though having read this thread, admittedly quickly, I never got a sense of
what problem Harold was trying to solve with multiple distributions,
multiple versions of gnucash, and a gnucash data file being modified by all
this; an added suggestion would be, when the time comes, for Harold to ask
himself if the added complexity is worth the trouble).

Personally, I have a couple of laptops that run Gentoo Linux. They are set
up identically, including the same versions of gnucash. One of them is my
primary machine, and that's where I do most of my gnucash work. But there
are occasions when I need to use the other one. I rsync my home directory
from the primary machine to the secondary one. After completing my use of
the secondary machine, I rsync my home directory back to the primary
machine. Yes, in theory I am subject to the danger Manfred mentions --
modifying a gnucash file that isn't the latest one -- but in practice, it
has not been a problem. I'm careful and always back-up after putting a lot
of work into anything, gnucash included. (One additional comment: having a
back-up method that is fast and easy makes it possible to back-up often.
This can really save you from yourself or your hardware.)


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