Default installation directory app store

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by rikscha, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Hi there,

    I never used to share a Mac but will have to do so for the next 2-3 weeks.
    When I migrated my backup from my time capsule to create my user, I noticed that all my apps have been merged with the other user's apps in the root level applications folder.

    Only then I realised that apps from the App Store are by default installed in that folder. I find that strange as there does not seem to be a way of changing that. Launching Launchpad is a mess now as I can see all the other user's apps. I am also afraid running a new time machine backup now, as it will be backing up the other user's apps and apps data which would mess my backup up when returning to my old Mac.

    I was wondering how other's in this forum are dealing with this mess.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    Applications typically install to the /Applications folder the majority of the time, this is why User home folders don't have an Applications folder when they are created. This has been normal Mac OS X behavior for as long as I can recall, at least from the Jaguar / Panther (10.2 / 10.3) days.

    The only application I can think of off the top of my head that creates/uses the ~/Applications folder is Citrix Receiver. Receiver will create the ~/Applications folder when you add Citrix "applications" inside of Receiver.

    To solve your "problem" with backing up all of the data from the other users you might try excluding some items from Time Machine's backup. To do this you can go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Options (see attachment for reference) and add the other user's home folders (/Users/JDoe, etc) and the /Applications folder to the exclude list. This should prevent Time Machine from backing them up. The flip side to the Applications folder though is it won't back up your personal applications but all of their settings & preferences should still be saved in your ~/Library folder. I would think that worst case with this would be having to install your old Applications when you move to a new Mac.

    Also, keep in mind that you can somewhat pick & choose what to restore when restoring from Time Machine. I believe you could restore your user account to the new Mac then go back into the backup and restore your personal applications. Some applications (Adobe springs to mind) will have loads of support files in /Library & ~/Library that will be needed as well but more than likely you could get most of your applications back using this method.

    Attached Files:

  3. macrumors G3

    Does it really matter if everyone who uses the Mac in question can see all the applications that are installed on it? What if 2 people need the same application? Do you really want to have both of them install it?
  4. macrumors 6502

    That's not the point. Some apps such as office offer you to install for all or the current user only. Same as in windows in fact. I can't use launch pad anymore without rearranging all my home screens. I can't backup my mac without fiddling around excluding certain apps and folders. This is a flaw in my eyes as all this is not necessary when using a mac just by yourself. I don't care about workarounds, I'm past that, I want a computer that fully works out of the box and a Mac is pretty close, as long as not multiple users are involved.


    Thanks, I'm obviously aware of that but it is a pain in the ass. I just don't want to fiddle around with these things anymore. As a single user, time machine is pretty much plug&play.
  5. macrumors 68020

    If you really want to create a completely separate division, then really you need to have your own system on an external drive, with your OS, your apps and your data.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Mr Rabbit

    I'm surely being pedantic with this, but Office 2011 only installs to /Applications. There is no option in the install process to specify the current or all users. You can deselect individual components of Office from being installed and you can specify to install to an external OS but thats about it.

    Thats kinda my point though. Office, along with probably 95%+ of applications for Mac OS, installs to /Applications for ease of use when dealing with multiple users. Rather than have to install it three times for three different users you simply install it once and then each user's preferences, data, etc is stored within their unique user accounts, only sharing the generic application files outside of their user folders.

    I just don't understand how this can be viewed as a negative for general behavior. Sure, in oddball situations that require something different it may be undesirable,but this is literally the second time I've ever heard someone complain about this model in the past 10 years.

    Benwiggy's advice is great though. Split the partition in half and make an OS for just yourself if the normal Mac OS file structure bothers you.
  7. macrumors 604

    This has been a bit of an annoyance for me as well, but I simply gave up on using launchpad and put things I use regularly in the dock. I do clone backups, not time machne, so I don't worry about what gets backed up. I have some stuff on my machines that are for my wife, like Office (which I hate but she loves).
  8. macrumors 6502

    I haven't installed office for a while but was sure that you are being asked at the very beginning how to install it. My bad. I know that some apps offer the option to do so. I just don't get your point. If I want to have one app available to everyone, I just choose to install it in this way. If I don't want it to be used by everyone, I don't. Seems to be a win-win situation for your and my scenario. And btw, because I tend to organise my apps a bit differently, I ended up having some apps twice in the applications folder, only because I put some apps into folders in my applications folder. Again, Launch Pad is an app that comes with the system and Apple wants you to use it and appreciate it. I like using it but it became unusable for me, as I have to flick through 4 home screens now (I am though using the search field within Launch pad as well) It doesn't help me at all that you might not like launch pad and are not using it. I am! Time machine isn't working for me as well. I don't want to backup and restore stuff that isn't mine. Yes you can exclude apps but not necessarily app data that is hidden deep in the library folder and is accumulating hundreds of MBs that I do not need inside my backup. I think there is a more elegant solution to this and am just pointing out that the current state isn't ideal. At the same time, I know it is very difficult to fix this without making the current straightforward installation process more complicated which I wouldn't be in favor either. In general, I was just interested to hear how people deal with this.

    Edit: as said before, I don't believe in workarounds. Installing a second partition defeats the purpose of using a Mac for me. Hello good old windows days.


    Well, for me the consequence will be to never share my Mac with anyone in future. I don't consider the current solution to be great.
  9. macrumors demi-god

    You have to remember that Time Machine, while great, is considered as a machine backup, not "personnal/private" backup.

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