I have got problems with video drivers and display in LM17. An old CD of Lubuntu worked as a livedrive so I have installed it on a partition. So I have got easy access to all my files etc.

can I share /usr/bin between them both ?

  • /dev/sda1 is LM
  • /dev/sdb1 is home ( and shared)
  • /dev/sda6 is lubuntu.

I have tried mounting and executing from there

/dev/sda1 on /home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir type ext4 (rw)

mars@mars:/home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir/usr/bin$ ./firefox 
/home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir/usr/lib/firefox/firefox: 1: cannot create �H@��@8: Permission denied
/home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir/usr/lib/firefox/firefox: 1: ELF: not found
/home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir/usr/lib/firefox/firefox: 2: Syntax error: "(" unexpected
  • Does the 'mars' user exist on both systems? It's likely that you're running into issues where user id's don't line up. To test that you could try running it as root. – David King Dec 22 '15 at 17:37

It is not a good idea. Every system is taking care of it's filesystem and if the other starts to mess up with it you will end like this. Executables are not everything you need to run them. There are also shared libraries and other files in other paths.

If you want to share something between systems, it should be data stored somewhere else (/mount/ or so). Even sharing /home between two different *DE can lead to unexpected problems.


If a file is managed by a package manager, don't change it outside that package manager. Files in Mint's /usr/bin are managed by Mint's package manager, so don't let Ubuntu's package manager modify it, and vice versa. (Ubuntu and Mint happen use the same software to manage packages, but each installation has its own database.)

If you want to run software installed on one distribution while the system is booted on the other distribution, it's possible. However invoking /home/lubuntuhome/.mintusrdir/usr/bin/something won't always work, because something might require libraries that aren't present in Mint's /usr/lib, or worse, libraries that are present but in an incompatible version. (The more complex the program, the more likely an incompatibility is. Firefox counts as pretty complex.) You can however use schroot to set up an environment to run Ubuntu programs on Mint, with access to their libraries and to your home directory, but not to Mint programs. (So for example, inside this environment, firefox will run Ubuntu's Firefox, and if it tries to invoke a video player, it'll run Ubuntu's video player.) Install the schroot package and create /etc/schroot/chroot.d/ubuntu with the following contents:


To run Ubuntu program, run e.g. schroot -c lubuntu firefox, or just schroot -c lubuntu to get a shell.

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