aliases vs soft links vs links -- performance and preference

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Avery1, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Avery1 macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2010
    I am moving my home directory off the boot drive, and would prefer to not have to type /Volumes/diska/Users/myuser

    And instead, setup a link/alias from
    /data --> /Volumes/diska/Users/myuser

    1. Is there a performance hit or difference between aliases, soft links, and links?
    2. Does MacOS prefer aliases, soft links, or links?

    A few brief tests leads me to believe that aliases perform the most ideal, when it comes to copies including other links/aliases (copying a soft link in UNIX will create a physical copy of the link target, versus copying just the link).
  2. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2007
    Trying to do this via a link is a bad idea. What you need to do is to change the path that MacOS X thinks is your home folder. You can do this from the Accounts panel in System Preferences in 10.6. Right click (or control-click) on the user you want to chance and a "Advanced Options" popup will apear. Click on that and it should become obvious what to do next. There are ways to do this before 10.6, but they are more complicated.

    Do not take this lightly, and before you reboot this new folder MUST be setup with the proper permissions otherwise you are not going to like the results.

    And you should also know that if anything ever interrupts the mounting of that volume at exactly that spot you are in for trouble. Those mount points are in no way guaranteed.
  3. Avery1 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2010
    The home directory was already moved by these means. I am creating another link/softlink/alias for convenience.

    There is a backup user whose home directory resides on the boot drive, to mitigate the volume mis-mount risk.

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