What is the "private" folder on my hd?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by California, Sep 24, 2005.

  1. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #1
    I downloaded What size is this (I think that's the name of the app) in order to see if I could free up any disc space. A pretty large folder entitled "private" popped up.

    Then I ran disc permissions. Got a lot of "private/var/ kind of files that needed new permissions or something. What the heck is this "private" file?

    I have an iBook 1.33/14" with 1.25g and running 10.3.9.

    Oh and one of the repaired permissions files said something like private/var/jobs

    Huh?
     
  2. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    basically that entire folder is OS X unix core i believe.
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #3
    You are exactly right. Various directories such as /etc, /var, and /tmp are symbolic links into /private:

    Code:
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin  11 May  5 19:44 etc -> private/etc
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin  11 May  5 19:46 tmp -> private/tmp
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  admin  11 May  5 19:46 var -> private/var
    
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #4
    That's not what my "Private" folder is... :D
     
  5. dubbz macrumors 68020

    dubbz

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Alta, Norway
    #5
    Was thinking the same... *cough*

    :D
     
  6. calebmedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    #6
    So if you delete it you pretty screwed right?
     
  7. brasiliangringo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #7
    just bought a 2nd hand macbook, restored it using my other macs back up thus wiping the previous users OSX. After this i still found this 'private' file as mentioned by thread starter. I then deleted to find on restart the system wouldnt boot, so had to restore again via system installer using CD. Having read the above it seems it is nothing to worry about - just something invisible that hasnt (for whatever reason) stayed that way..
     
  8. Cheule macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #8
    Surprised no one chimed in with the correct answer, even after 2 years.

    Any folder in OS X that shows up unexpectedly (like the private folder inside / in this case) needs to have it's flags reset to hidden. Do that by opening Terminal and typing:

    sudo chflags hidden /private/

    Put in your admin password, and you're good to go.
     
  9. checkok macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    Santiago
    #9
    Cheule:

    i tried your command and all it did was make my HD icon go insible
     
  10. Repo macrumors 6502a

    Repo

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #10
    His advice is correct.
     
  11. sc25893 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    #11
    This 'private' folder appeared in my home folder after installing dropbox. The command hid it again. Thanks for the info (running osx 10.8.4).
     
  12. Sivs, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

    Sivs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2015

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