Can't Symlink ~/Library

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Dragonlance1561, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. Dragonlance1561 macrumors member

    Dragonlance1561

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #1
    So I want to put my /user/<me>/library on a different drive. Before you wonder why on earth I would want to do that let me explain:
    I just got a new iMac (late 2013). I had a 256GB SSD put in it, and planned to have the rest of my files on an external drive through USB 3. So I put my entire home folder on the external drive and pointed the system there using the advanced options in the users section of system prefs. Great, that works seamlessly.

    Now I want to put my ~/Library back on to the SSD because it's such a high-use folder and the external HDD is slowing things down. So I want to make a symlink to point back to the library that I copied to the SSD, but "ln -s /path/to/library/on/ssd" in terminal keeps making aliases instead of a symlink.
    This guy had the same problem: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5045641
    however I’m on 10.9 and his solution (the permissions part) didn’t work.
    I also tried re-creating my home folder on the SSD and linking everything except "library" to the external drive, but "ln -s /path/" only wants to create aliases still, which don't work for this.

    Does anyone here have any suggestions?
    I recall reading something about creating custom mount points in /etc/fstab.hd (or whatever it's called) but I don't really know anything about that.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    What error are you getting when you try, maybe I missed it in your original post. Did you use sudo?

    showing a screen shot of the terminal and its results will be helpful
     
  3. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #3
    Symbolic links work and look like aliases in Finder but don't work the same for the system.
    In Terminal, what is the output of
    Code:
    ls -l
    in the directory where your link is?
     
  4. Dragonlance1561 thread starter macrumors member

    Dragonlance1561

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #4
    This this is me trying to put links to everything except the library on the SSD. As in, I am trying to link to the external drive from the SSD. (This is the opposite of what I had first tried in my post above, but I seem to be getting the same problem...)
    Code:
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/music
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/movies
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/pictures
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/public
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/google\ drive
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/dropbox
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/downloads
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/documents
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/desktop
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ln -s /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/applications
    
    This is the output of "ls -l" after doing the above:
    Code:
    Computer-Name:<home on SSD> systemadmin$ ls -l
    total 80
    drwx------@ 51 systemadmin  admin  1734  7 Jan 22:39 Library
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    36 11 Jan 01:34 applications -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/applications
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    31 11 Jan 01:34 desktop -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/desktop
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    33 11 Jan 01:34 documents -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/documents
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    33 11 Jan 01:33 downloads -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/downloads
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    31 11 Jan 01:33 dropbox -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/dropbox
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    36 11 Jan 01:33 google drive -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/google drive
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    30 11 Jan 01:32 movies -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/movies
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    29 11 Jan 01:31 music -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/music
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    32 11 Jan 01:32 pictures -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/pictures
    lrwxr-xr-x   1 systemadmin  admin    30 11 Jan 01:33 public -> /volumes/<external drive>/<home>/public
    
    However, setting the home folder to <home on SSD> in the advanced user options and restarting results in all of the folders except library not showing up at all (aka, the OS didn't follow the links I made). There was also a pop-up about repairing the library, but I think that may have to do with the fact that I copied it from the other drive?
    Something to note: systemadmin is a second account I made because it seemed easier to make all these changes while none of the files are in use. I also have it set to show all hidden files on that account to make working with the library easier.
    The account that these links are for has a different name. I hope that's not a problem?
     
  5. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #5
    That is the exact problem. You need to chown them back to being owned by the actual account in use. You'll also need to be sure that permissions are enabled on the external drive before that works.
    Also note that you can manually assign Dropbox to use any folder, so symlinks aren't necessary there.
     
  6. Dragonlance1561 thread starter macrumors member

    Dragonlance1561

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    #6
    Thank you so much! It's working perfectly now. And wow! Having the library on the SSD really does speed things up!
     

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