I want to symlink my user folder in Lion from my SSD to my HDD. However, I've read that this is not such a good idea as there is library folders containing caches in the user folder. I've had a look and in the user folder there is one folder named for my user name containing no library folder, and one folder named 'shared' containing a library folder. Can I just symlink my named folder and leave the shared folder as it is, or as I install more software and use my mac more will there be a library folder with cache files created in my named user folder? I don't want to symlink the wrong folders and not get the most out of my SSD. Cheers Ad
There is a Library folder but it is hidden on Lion by default when using Finder. You can see it in the terminal :
Macmini:tyr root# ls -ld Library drwx------@ 36 tyr staff 1224 Apr 10 01:42 Library
FWIW I have a SSD + HDD setup myself and I've left my homedir on the SSD so I will still be able to login if the HDD ever fails, but I've linked all dirs containing large file to the HDD :
Macmini:tyr root# ls -l total 1552 drwxr-xr-x 17 tyr admin 578 Mar 10 23:02 Applications drwx------+ 5 tyr staff 170 Apr 13 02:15 Desktop lrwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 35 Dec 31 08:15 Documents -> /Volumes/MiniHD/Users/tyr/Documents lrwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 35 Dec 31 08:19 Downloads -> /Volumes/MiniHD/Users/tyr/Downloads lrwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 33 Mar 18 16:11 Dropbox -> /Volumes/MiniHD/Users/tyr/Dropbox drwx------@ 55 tyr staff 1870 Mar 16 23:06 Library lrwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 32 Dec 31 08:19 Movies -> /Volumes/MiniHD/Users/tyr/Movies drwx------+ 6 tyr staff 204 Feb 19 04:35 Music drwx------+ 24 tyr staff 816 Apr 4 08:09 Pictures drwxr-xr-x+ 88 tyr staff 2992 Apr 8 11:17 Public drwxr-xr-x+ 3 tyr staff 102 Dec 31 08:02 Sites lrwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 41 Dec 31 08:30 VirtualMachines -> /Volumes/MiniHD/Users/tyr/VirtualMachines
You'll notice Music isn't a link, that's because I've changed that setting in iTunes, so there's no need to replace it with a symbolic link.
Edit: creating symbolic links
(As always having a backup is essential.)
To create these kinds of symbolic links I recommend logging in as a second user then using root in the terminal. E.g. you want to create links for User1, then login as User2 and in the Terminal do :
$ sudo su - Password: Macmini:~ root# cd /Users/User1 Macmini:User1 root# mv Documents /Volumes/MyHDD/ Macmini:User1 root# ln -s /Volumes/MyHDD/Documents Documents
The above commands moved the "Documents" folder in the "User1" homedir to an external volume called "MyHDD", then created a link called "Documents" to the place where we moved it.
Rather than deal with a symlink and any possible cache issues, why not simply create your actual user folder on the HDD and then use the Advanced Options in the Accounts pane of System Preferences to set the new location?
I've been doing this on my 2008 Mac Pro with a OWC SSD for boot but my ~ in the stock 320GB HDD. It might cost me some performance, but I've been ecstatic with the reliability and overall speed.