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Thread: Alias / Symbolic link question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    81

    Default Alias / Symbolic link question

    Hi guys, I have 4 hard drives in my Mac Pro. The small SSD drive uses Snow leopard as the OS, the other (2TB regular hard drive) is ML.

    Some of my apps will share the same data regardless of the OS that I boot from, e.g. checkbook app, etc. I want to have this data and other large, writeable files on the 2TB drive for 2 reasons: to save room on the SSD and so that the info is always the same regardless of what OS I am using at the time (without having to use a sync app). However because there are likely differences between Snow and ML, I've not done the Rick thing (moving users folder). The computer will need to read and write to these folders. Is it better to use aliases or symbolic links? I will not be moving these folders so tracking the folder location is not a criteria for using alias.

    Is it safe to alias or symbolic link the whole application support folder (~/library/application support) that is on the TB and place that alias on the SSD drive? Or, does each OS really needs its own application support that shouldn't be shared? (I can see where that might be a concern if one OS is running an older version of an app). If that is the case, then I can just do the individual data folders for the app itself.

    I made symbolic links for several data folders that belong to an app (that was in the application support folder). But when I booted up today, those 'aliases' looked like white documents instead of folders and when i clicked to show original, it said to fix them, but it couldn't fix them (gave error). So, are aliases better to use for this?

    I will add... I also want to do this to the Documents and Movies, Music, and Pictures folders. Documents folder seems more difficult because the OS won't let it be deleted.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,142

    Default

    Moving the Users is not the issue. The structure of the databases for any Apple application is the issue. iTunes, iPhoto, Mail, and so on will all not work with both operating systems.

    Example: As soon as you run Mountain Lion and open Mail it will ask if it can update the Mail Library. From that moment on Mail will no longer be able to used by Snow Leopard. Same for all the other 'i' apps.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I'm going to pull up this old thread as I'm rearranging my setup and contemplating this Users Directory move again. I'm on Yosemite but want to have a partition for El Cap to make sure it is OK first.

    Is it still OK to move it as long as it is only going to be used by the OS where it had originated? Or, is it the case that moving the Users may have worked years ago but nowadays it's best to leave it alone (since it also contains the Users Library, etc. plus has changed with Apple's restructuring over the years?

    Do you still do this, since the instructions on How and Why to move were written a long time ago)? (when you mention that you've been able to copy it over to new computers from years back, a lot of those ~ Library items, etc would have changed especially now, right?) Or maybe just consolidate and move the Documents folders into one?? Thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
    Posts
    9,142

    Default

    A User folder is a Users folder is a Users folder. Doesn't matter where it resides. When you update the OS the new OS will update all your files to match the new data base structure. You cannot usually take a USer directory backwards is the only rule.

    Pointing to a new User folder location is as simple as it always was.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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