For some reason, I'd like to sync my home folders (that is ~) with sync tools such as Dropbox/Onedrive/Google Drive.

However, making a symbolism link is not working. Then I found some apps while none of them actually works..

So what's the best practices here? Thanks :)

  • I symlink some folders into the ~/Dropbox folder and it generally works no problem. Note there are size restrictions on the free version of all those services which may be causing problems. – agentroadkill May 18 '16 at 15:40
  • @agentroadkill I've tried but nothing changed, you mean you put a symbolism link in dropbox? – Liam May 18 '16 at 15:45
  • I'll create a more complete answer. – agentroadkill May 18 '16 at 15:45
  • You can\t do all od ~ - are their some particular you want shared? – mmmmmm May 18 '16 at 16:01
  • Have you considered using Synching? This would be easy to setup. I would actually be hesitant to sync my entire home folder though. – Steven C. Howell May 18 '16 at 16:02

I sync some small local folders using Dropbox (Google Drive seems more reluctant to this sort of thing, I have no experience using OneDrive).

To do this, ln -s /path/to/file /path/to/link in Terminal works for me, no problem.


  • This solution is Mac (possibly *nix)-specific, see here.

  • This is not officially supported by Dropbox.

  • Your home directory contains lots of config files I would be wary of sending via network connection at all.

  • All the services you have listed have 'free' and 'premium' versions. I won't enumerate these here, but be aware of file and upload/bandwidth restrictions which will likely cause problems with this approach.

  • As an addendum, Dropbox recommends putting a file in the ~/Dropbox folder, then symlinking that back out to your local filesystem. – agentroadkill May 18 '16 at 15:56
  • Also there are directories e.g. ~/Library/Caches which should not be shared as some things will differ by machine especially also ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost. Unfortunately OSX is not like Windows which has a clear difference between local and user data – mmmmmm May 18 '16 at 16:01
  • @Mark, agreed, but I think the attempt is to link ~ to ~/Dropbox, so the machines won't have problems, other than constantly fighting to update the cache, prefs and other specific files. – agentroadkill May 18 '16 at 16:08
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    Thanks, I've been thinking that "Make Alias" is the equivalent to ln -s, and just now I found it's completely the different things..Thanks for your answer! – Liam May 18 '16 at 16:28
  • Unfortunately This does not work in OneDrive. – Shamal Karunarathne Oct 20 '16 at 15:54

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