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I mean, does mac have a "home" folder, and if I want to format and reinstall the system, it'll not affect my home folder? And the Desktop is a folder within the home folder?

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For further reference, don't hesitate reading – Martín Marconcini Jan 19 '11 at 12:44
up vote 5 down vote accepted

OS X does indeed have a home folder, in /Users/<username> with a hierarchy of folders, including one for Desktop, in this location - similar to Ubuntu.

On most Linux distributions the /home is a different partition on the drive and formatting the primary OS partition would not erase your data. This is not the case with OS X and (unless you've made a concerted effort to the contrary) erasing the OS X drive will erase your data.

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However you can reinstall the OS without deleting the /Users directory – Mark Jan 19 '11 at 12:20
@Mark that's an override? Or it's delete all files and reinstall? – Tom Brito Jan 19 '11 at 12:58
@Tom The default install for OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) preserves /Users – jtjacques Jan 19 '11 at 13:09
@jtjacques that's an override of the system files? Or it's delete all system files and recopy? – Tom Brito Jan 19 '11 at 13:29
It is an overwrite - but I would not rely on the result as the unwritten over files might not match the OS – Mark Jan 19 '11 at 14:15

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