Running An Install On Multiple Systems

I have desktops in two houses, and to make them portable I installed F40 on an SSD I have connected with a USB/SATA adapter.

Could it lead to problems in the long term with things like driver incompatibilities, temp files and caches, so on?

Temp files are as the name says, temporary, and since fedora uses tempfs in ram for /tmp that will not present an issue.

Other files that are stored on the ssd will be permanent and portable (cache and similar).

The only thing I would envision as a potential problem would be if there are hardware differences in the 2 systems that may lead to driver issues, but even that can be managed in a way to ensure operation would succeed.

Devices in one system that are not in the other can be added into the initramfs image with dracut so the system can boot properly on both.

There are more details than that but it can be managed with careful configuration and similar or identical hardware.

So long as the SSD system has the super set of drivers installed the kernel will load only what is needed to support the detected hardware.

For example if one system has nvidia GPU and the other AMDGPU it will just work.
kernel will not attempt to load the nvidia drivers if there is no nvidia GPU.

I do this all the time with my rescue/testing SSD.

I have booted F39 from USB3 cases with SSD’s on 3 different systems (all use EFI/UEFI boot). I find SATA SSD drive in a USB3 case is much slower than NVMe in a USB3 case.

I gather you are able to boot Fedora from the SSD on at least one of the systems. Have you verified that both systems can use either BIOS or UEFI (for UEFI secure boot you need to disable secure boot to use external USB devices)? The Fedora installer can boot either way, but installs with the method it used to boot, so extra work may be required if you need UEFI on one system and BIOS on the other.

If Fedora meets your needs on both systems without installing non-free drivers and you should be good to go.

Thanks to both of you for the answers.
I understood it this way too but wanted to make sure.
Indeed I have all drivers for both systems, and from my basic checks it does what’s described in documentation where only needed drivers/modules are loaded.

@computersavvy It’s a relief to learn that temp files and caches aren’t a worry. I agree with what you said but couldn’t find any info to support this and sometimes assumptions made which could cause breakage.

Both systems boot using UEFI (secure boot disabled), but that’s a good point I didn’t think of. Thanks.

In terms of speed, actually I havent done much work with heavy files and so compared to my 980 Pro (Arch) I haven’t felt much of a difference at all. I’m sure it’s objectively huge, but I haven’t crossed the point where I notice it, and I’ve been daily driving this for a while now.

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying about free/nonfree drivers. Generally I use Nouveau but I also have the NVIDIA drivers installed, which only one of my machine needs; the other uses the intel iGPU.

That should work – I have a similar mix: one Nvidia and two Intel iGPU, but only enable non-free Nvidia drivers on rare occasions. If you needed different non-free Nvidia drivers on the two systems you might encounter conflicts.

Are you talking about DKMS?
That’d make sense.

Yes. I use the rpmfusion-nonfree akmod-nvidia-470xx.x86_64. The Nvidia Howto has a section on switching between nouveau and Nvidia drivers.