I work at an organisation where the fileserver containing
/home sometimes fails to start in the morning. I can still log in on the console but get an error message something like
$HOME not available, using /. In this case my workaround is
cd /tmp mkdir home chmod 700 home export HOME=/tmp/home # wget a copy of my "emergency" rc files that I keep online # xinit, twm etc.
so I can still read e-mails through a web browser and if the file server is down for long, checkout my current projects from gitlab into /tmp and continue there.
Xterm and twm seem to respect
$HOME and happily work in my temporary setting,
cd with no parameters and
~ in bash work fine.
chromium-browser does not and still complains about
/home/organisation-specific-stuff/my-username not being available. (Chromium will run with
--user-data-dir=/tmp/home/chromium but launching it still causes dbus to throw a fit about non-existent /home).
What other ways besides
$HOMEare there for programs to reference the "home directory", and are there good reasons (for example security implications) why some programs choose one over the other?
Is there a way to tell e.g. chromium, dbus to temporarily use
/tmp/homeinstead? I cannot use the solution in  due to lack of root rights. For the same reason,
chrootseems out of the question. Or is this a stupid/dangerous thing to do?
My system is Ubuntu "precise" if that makes a difference.