So I have a partitioned hard drive:

  1. OS X 10.9 (my start-up disk)
  2. OS X 10.6 (obviously running Snow Leopard)
  3. Share

Before you ask, it was a gift and came partitioned like this. The idea is that all my documents would be in "Share" and OS X 10.9/10.6 would have symbolic links to the Documents, Desktop, etc directories in Share so I would have access to the same documents no matter what OS I'm running.

However, I realized I'm quickly running out of space on my start-up disk. I found that in OS X 10.9, I have a directory called Volumes, which has a symbolic link to OS X 10.9, but then real directories to Share and OS X 10.6. I can go into OS X 10.6 and find the same Volumes folder, and the process repeats.

Is there any way I can replace the directories OS X 10.9/Volumes/OS X 10.6 and OS X 10.9/Volumes/Share with symbolic links directly to OS X 10.6/ and Share/? I tried in Finder, but "command-L" for Make Alias is unavailable.

Also, when I use "df", the partitions are mounted on /Volumes/, which makes sense.

Please help me figure out what's going on, and how to solve my storage problem!

  • Symbolic links take zero space. Same with hard links. There is either a problem you aren't seeing or a disk accounting error. When is the date of your last backup? If you have accounting errors that would be my first priority – bmike May 29 '16 at 13:32
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    Also the structure you are describing in the 3rd paragraph ("However ...") seems to be ok (there must be a Volumes on the 10.6 partition). Maybe it would be clearer if you add a screenshot of the directories in question shown in Finder's List view (just make sure to open all of the relevant sub-directories). – nohillside May 29 '16 at 14:17
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    Do you need both Mac OS X installations on the same HD? If the Snow Leopard installation is infrequently used, you could use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! to make a bootable backup of it to an external HD, then repartition the drive to remove and increase the size of Share. When you boot from the external disk, the contents of the Share partition on the internal HDD will still be available. – IconDaemon May 29 '16 at 14:34

Your hard drive probably contains five partition:

  • "EFI"
  • "OS X 10.6"
  • "OS X 10.9"
  • "Share"
  • "Recovery HD"

Two of them aren't mounted automatically to /Volumes after booting: EFI and Recovery HD.

After booting one of the three bootable file systems ("OS X 10.6", "OS X 10.9", "Recovery HD") - all other auto-mounted volumes ("Share" and non-booted boot volumes) are mounted to /Volumes and the volume containing the root file system (with the booted system) is linked to itself. The volumes mounted to /Volumes don't use any space on the boot volume.

So replacing them with links doesn't create any free space!

Swapping and unifying your user folders (10.6 and 10.9) in "Share" and linking it back to each of the /Users/ folders isn't recommended because some content in ~/Library or ~/Music may be incompatible with either 10.6 or 10.9.

So better move the big files like Movies to "Share" or delete one of the two system partitions after moving all content to the other system partition or to "Share".

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