OSX has too many folders with same name!!

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by flyfish29, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    What is up with having so many folders in OSX with the same name. On my computer I have at least two "public" folders (iDisk and Home)...two "documents" folders (home and hard drive)...three "library" folders (home, hard drive, and system folders)...two favorites (system and home library)etc. Why do they do this? Can some of these folders be changed without messing things up? Am I the only one that gets confused when saving something?:confused:

    Just wondering if anyone has noticed this?
  2. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2003
    Adelaide, Australia
    Rename them you goose, or make new folders to save yor work in.
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If you run more than a single user, these folders start coming in handy.
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    There's actually a reason for all these duplicates. For example:

    System Folder/Fonts - fonts used by the operating system

    Library/Fonts - additional fonts available to all users

    Users/yourname/Library/Fonts - additional fonts available to user "yourname"

    They are all named Fonts because they serve the same purpose - to store fonts. The multiple locations allow them to be organized by purpose.
  5. mim macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2003
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    Well...I'm not sure renaming some of them is such a good idea....

    Someone here who's actually a half decent *nix hacker can probably explain this way better than me - but what you want to do is try to only use your 'home' folders. That way you'll find you'll have few hassles transferring or backing up your personal settings & info.

    If you're used to windows, think of it like the windows directory, the system directory, the root directory, & your user directory. Some files need to live in the system directory, some in the windows directory, and most of the ones you use will be in your user folders. So, no - you don't really need that documents folder on the HD. You'll probably find that some app has installed an install log or something in there.

    Use the one in your home directory generally - however if you have more than 1 user on your computer you'll start to see the benifit of having *some* things not in your Home folder (i.e. other people will be able to use/see them).

    The library is slightly different - the library in your Home folder can be used to modify or overwrite other system settings, and stores things like your keychain, etc. It also stores all sorts of unix goodies like your preferences (hidden from normal view...you can see them all if you go in through the terminal) - so don't get any funny ideas about trying to rename it!
  6. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Rename C:\Windows\ and see how well your system runs. ;)
  7. flyfish29 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    Yeah, I actually tried renaming a few and they recreated themselves. The point I was trying to make and I really didn't I guess was it is somewhat confusing when you go to save something and you see documents folder...but it might not be the documents folder in your home...For example in the view I have right now in the finder window I see two different columns with a documents folder...I am getting used to where things are and why, but it just makes me have to think a bit more as to which folder Safari has downloaded something to, or which folder something else is in, etc. I love that each user has a documents folder, the public folder, etc., but you could possibly have two finder windows open that both read Public folder and yet be different folders and the only way you can tell them apart is the little icon that is used and one has your user name before the word public. Like I said, I get along ok because I am tech. savy, but I could see where some switchers (like my inlaws) or newbies will be extremely confused when they have so many folders named the same thing. It it the same in Panther?

    I agree I think renaming would be bad on most of them, the only one I think I tried was documents in my home folder.

    thanks for the info everyone!:D
  8. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Jun 23, 2003
    St Augustine, FL
    You don't want to rename those system folders. It's just the result of OS X using Unix. There are "same name" folders such as "Library" because the Root has one, you have one as a user, and the System itself has one. All major files needed by the system are contained in the different folders and they are named for a reason. Generally, don't mess with those folders unless you know what they are used for. If you just browse through them, you can find useful folders to add sounds, pictures, etc, but overall, I'd say stick with your own folders or your "Home" folder when organizing your files.
  9. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    under conventional *nix the home folder is normally on its own hard disk (or more recently partition).

    This meant that the system could be upgraded, the home disk mounted and violá all of your settings, docs, fonts would be there. i.e. If someone trashed to OS then your personal stuff and everyone elses personal stuff would not be affected.

    The usual setup is this:

    System: (Disk 1)
    Apps: (Disk 2)
    Home folder(s): (start at Disk 3)
    Swap File: (Last Disk)

    Some of you will notice that this is the perfect setup for a RAID 10 or 50. *nix ws built to allow one thing to go wrong and be recovered with almost nil data loss.

    Look at the above list and as i said before - upgrade the system and everything else is untouched. All you would have to do at worst is recopmile some of your apps to suit the new system or kernel - not a problem to the sorts of people who are using this sort of a setup

    EDIT: typos

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