Applications/Library folders

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lonepilgrim, May 8, 2006.

  1. lonepilgrim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #1
    I'm sure I'm missing something really basic here... but can anyone explain the difference between the Applications and Library folders in my "Macintosh HD" to those under my Home folder? They seem to have different things in them, or are they really the same? Is one of them something to do with "Root" (not even sure what that means)?!

    Part of the reason I'm asking is that I find the Finder so frustrating that I'm trying out Path Finder -- and the latter app suggests putting a 'plugin' into the ~/Library/Application Support/Path Finder folder... unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be such a folder in either Library - let alone any indication of what is distinctive about each Library.

    Can anyone help?? :)
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    /Library is where the OS stores system related stuff, caches, preferecenes, etc.
    /System/Library/ is also system related stuff, but more integral than /Library.
    /Applications is where Applications should go.
    ~/Library/ is the Library in your home folder, or /Users/username/Library/ and is where system related stuff that is specific to YOUR USER is stored. Tidle (~) is UNIX shorthand for "home directory" and without qualifiers (like a username), it automatically defaults to YOUR home directory.

    When you installed Path Finder it should have created a folder in ~/Library/Applications Support/. If there isn't one there, create one.
     
  3. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #3
    The ones in the root of Macintosh HD are meant for the OS and core services. The ones in your Home are for all the extras like personal preferences, extensions to software, templates etc. that you need as a user. You should have read, write and execute rights to the subfolders of your home directory, but never to the /Library structure.

    However, some OSX apps have been created without strict adherence to the guidelines, so to get the whole thing set up right as Apple intended takes a bit of work with the terminal.
     
  4. lonepilgrim thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #4
    Wow - it's so great when you receive a reply so quick on this forum. I haven't been knowledgeable enough to jump straight in with most of the unanswered questions I see here. :D

    Should I be concerned about backing anything up in either of these Library folders?

    Edit: and also, since I don't see a ~/Library/Application Support/Path Finder folder, should I just go ahead and create it? And what do I do with the permissions, since it's in the root of Macintosh HD?
     
  5. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Backing up is always a concern.. you should always back up as much as you think you need to get back on your feet the fastest. If this simply means backing up your ctritical data and you will reinstall everything else that you can remember you had, or if you simply want to replace the broken OS/install/hardware and clone your back up in place and be back where you were exactly after the last back up..

    It's not in the root of the Macintosh HD if it's in ~/Library.. please see my explanation above.
     
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Location:
    Cork, Ireland.
    #6
    Just to add to those above:

    OSX has the concept of 'domains', which include the user, local, network and system domains.

    Anything installed in the user domain (your home directory, and subfolders of it) is available to that user.

    Anything in the local domain is available to all users on that machine.

    Anything in the network domain is available to network (NetInfo?) users.

    Anything in the System domain is installed by Apple, and 'not to be touched'. Only a root user can (but shouldn't) modify anything there.
     
  7. lonepilgrim thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Sorry, got ahead of myself there (or was it behind?)

    That silly ~ .
     

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