Ubuntu: Two Linux OSes on same machine - can edit files on the other OS safely?


I originally had an Xubuntu 14.04 (32 bit) on my machine. I have now also installed a Ubuntu 14.04 (64 bit) on the same machine and plan to migrate eventually there. In both OSes I have access to files belonging to the other OS.

If I edit a file belonging to Xubuntu while I am on the new OS, or the other way around, would the other OS think the FS is corrupt once I boot it up? The files are mostly php, css, js, html files and nothing fancy/crazy.


You shouldn't have to worry about filesystem corruption as long as you do clean shutdowns and unmounts. Avoid editing system configuration files1. You can edit your own documents without worry; many people dual-boot their systems and work with their files on multiple OSes.

1As long as ensure your edits are correct, you should be fine with those too.


It depends on which files will be changed. If you edit let's say a Libre Office spreadsheet file you were working on, then nothing wrong will happen. However if you change system files (for example files in /etc /bin or similar locations) it might corrupt your system. Such situation will occur regardless of the system you are working on at the moment. However in general every OS defends its important files and requires for example root password to edit them. So there might exist a possibility to change seamlessly even the important files belonging to one system while working on the other one.

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