I'm trying to move my Backup folder from the SSD to another internal HD via symlink using this command:

ln -s /MacintoshHD/Backup   ~/Library/"Application Support"/MobileSync

the problem is, when i hit enter instead of creating a Symlink I get an Alias. Any suggestion on why this is happening?

  • 1
    How do you know its creating an alias? – DisplayName Dec 10 '14 at 17:23
  • The spurious quotes might be your problem. Have you tried: ln -s /MacintoshHD/Backup ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync? – Ian C. Dec 10 '14 at 17:27
  • Well, I suppose it's an Alias, since on the file info says it is an Alias. By the way the file is not doing is job! And that's driving me crazy! :( BTW I read to put quotes when the folder name has got space on it, is that correct? – Angelo Noviello Dec 10 '14 at 18:17

The command you used is ok. This created a link in ~/Library/"Application Support"/MobileSync that points to /MacintoshHD/Backup. And this is is a symbolic link.

However, is you get the info on Finder it will catalog as Kind: Alias.

The first letter of the output of ls -l will show you that is a symbolic link:

lrwxr-xr-x   1 username staff    8 Dec 10 18:27 MobileSync -> /MacintoshHD/Backup/
  • Yes, sorry about that! I wrote everything below. – Angelo Noviello Dec 10 '14 at 18:19

It is a symlink, to Finder they look identical.

If you want to see whether it is a symlink do

ls -al 

If it returns something that begins with l, then it is a symlink.

  • More generally, any program (not just Finder) that is browsing the filesystem using Macintosh Filesystem APIs will see a symlink as an alias. If it 'reads' the raw alias, rather than resolving it, what it reads will be as if it read an actual alias file, created on the fly during the read operation, so such programs simply cannot tell the difference between an alias and a symlink. The Unix filesystem APIs do not return the favor. Programs using the Unix (i.e. POSIX) APIs see an alias file as some sort of weird data file and not as any kind of link. – ganbustein Dec 10 '14 at 21:05

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