Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In Terminal, how do I go from Macintosh HD to places such as johnsmith that contains Downloads, Desktop etc. In a Finder window, it seems they are independent of each other.

From Macintosh HD, I see Library, Applications etc. but under User I couldn't find johnsmith.

The Mac file tree is rather confusing for a Windows user like me who are used to "My Computer" then all files are managed by root drives and folders. What is consider as root on my Mac? Is it Macintosh HD or johnsmith? It is possible to do a partition on Mac like that on Windoes?

share|improve this question
    
Mac OS X with one hard disk is like Windows with one hard disk. Your home directory is at /Users/johnsmith. –  Andrew J. Brehm May 14 '12 at 15:13
add comment

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can find the location to your home directory by looking in the "Users & Groups" System Preference pane.

  1. Open "System Preferences" application
  2. Click "Users & Groups"
  3. Click the padlock to unlock it, if it is not already unlocked. Enter user name and password for an Admin user.
  4. Right click on the User name you want to find the home directory for, select "Advanced Options..."
  5. Observe the path as noted next to "Home directory:"

System Preferences:Users & Groups: Advanced Options

Now, once you see where OS X thinks your home folder is located then you can work on un hiding it if it is not showing up where it is suppose to be.

Make sure its name does not start with ".", Additionally you can use the SetFile -a v /pathToHome command to make it visible if it appears to be hidden for no apparent reason.

share|improve this answer
add comment

To find where it is, open Terminal and type pwd for "Print Working Directory". This works because the Terminal opens in your home folder by default.

You can move to your home folder in terminal by typing one of cd (defaults to your home folder), cd $HOME (moves to the location in that environment variable), or cd ~ (a shortcut for home), or cd /Users/johnsmith/ (the absolute path).

share|improve this answer
add comment

OS X is Unix-based so there is only one big filesystem visible to the user, even if it is distributed across several partions. This also applies to external drives which are accessible under /Volumes/NAME-OF-DRIVE.

The individual user home folders (which contain all the nice stuff like Downloads, Documents etc.) are available in /Users, each user has his/her own directory there with a name matching their short name. Type ls -l /Users in Terminal to see all of them.

And to actually "go" there, enter cd ~johnsmith (for user johnsmith) or just cd (for your own home folder), followed by ls -l to see the content.

share|improve this answer
    
in my User's there's only "Shared".... –  KMC May 14 '12 at 7:36
1  
Strange indeed, can you share a picture? In addition, open a Finder window for your home folder and Command-Click on the window title to show the folder hierarchy it resides in. –  patrix May 14 '12 at 7:39
1  
Also, report the results of echo ~ -- that should print where your home folder is. –  Gordon Davisson May 14 '12 at 15:36
    
The folder may be hidden. You could try SetFile -a v /Users/johnsmith in Terminal to make it visible again. –  mckeed May 14 '12 at 23:51
add comment

To get path into Terminal without a lot of typing:

•Open a Terminal window.

•In Finder, navigate to the folder (or file) you want, and drag its icon onto Terminal window.

•The appropriate path string will appear in terminal window.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.